Archives for October 2009

Happy Birthday US Navy

I can’t believe I almost missed this.

Naval History and Heritage Command : About
In 1972 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of 13 October as the Navy?s birthday. In contrast to Navy Day, the Navy Birthday is intended as an internal activity for members of the active forces and reserves, as well as retirees, and dependents. Since 1972 each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion "to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service."

Fair winds and following seas.


I wonder (after yet another cleaning of my iPhone contacts) how many of us ( us meaning you ) still have ” ICE ” in your cell phones?

You remember, the In Case if Emergency number so rescuers ( and ED’s ) know who to call if you can’t tell us?

I have mine, how’s about you? (sorry about all the parentheticals, but that’s how I’m thinking right now).

A unique, dare I say “Progressive”, solution to EMS/ED Frequent Fliers

EMS/ED frequent fliers are both a bane and (supposedly) another cost of doing business for EMS systems.  Maybe not.

My city of Fort Worth is trying to do something about it, proactively and correctly (emphasis mine):

MedStar program sends paramedic to homes of some repeat callers before they dial 911 | Fort Wor…
FORT WORTH — Last year, MedStar was called more than 800 times by 21 people.

Those “frequent fliers” weren’t necessarily facing life-threatening emergencies. Some may have needed primary care but didn’t have a regular doctor or transportation.

The overuse of ambulance services can divert crews needed elsewhere and drive up costs for taxpayers. Calls from those 21 MedStar patients resulted in $962,429 in ambulance charges, as well as charges for emergency room care. Most of that will never be collected, a MedStar official said, because only 1 in 4 patients transported has insurance….

MedStar is trying to tackle the problem with a new program that sends a paramedic to the homes of some patients before they dial 911.

“We wanted to try and find a better way to keep some of these folks more healthy,” said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar operations director. “We wanted to keep from making transports that we could prevent, and we thought this was a group of patients that we could manage proactively rather than reactively.”

Out of those 21 people, MedStar picked nine to participate in the program.

Read the article, as it’s been a qualified success; while it would be optimal to include all the frequent fliers, reality intervenes.  As a practicing doc I haven’t missed anyone, but that’s a good thing.  I hope there’s enough money to continue this program, and to slowly expand it.

Good for MedStar.

A chip off the old block

I am so proud.

My daughter just called from college, where she just smoked out the frosh chem lab.

Seems the instructions for how much granular drano to add, then how much water (yes, after the drano) were not described clearly.  Or, just clearly enough to make a lot of caustic fog.  No injuries, no harm/no foul.

Given my history, she called on the way home to tell of her escapade.  She said it reminded her of me, which is amusing.

I miss her, and wish she’d gotten someone elses’ lab skills….

Influenza whack-a-mole

What’s the ED like during a flu pandemic?

With all due respect to the afflicted, for the staff it’s like a game of whack-a-mole with no end.

The board says a family plan with flu like symptoms, then several singles with same.

So, off we go, see them all, send them home, then more pop up in other rooms! It’s flu whack-a-mole.

I’ll be glad when this ends, because I never liked that game.

Dr. Wes: Dear Doctor: You Will Be Salaried

Dr. Wes: Dear Doctor: You Will Be Salaried

Dr. Wes has something he wants you to know….   And that I want every doctor to know, as well.

How Dell Childrens’ is dealing with H1N1

Sounds like quite well, really:

Third flu tent opens at Dell Children’s as volumes stay high

By Mary Ann Roser | Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 11:34 AM

Statesman.comDoctors and nurses are now seeing patients in a third tent outside the emergency department at Dell Children’s Medical Center to handle steady high volumes of children complaining of flu.

Two tents, which went up Sept. 21 after swine flu cases spiked at the hospital, have proved to be “awesomely efficient,” hospital officials said, with the average patient being treated and sent home in about 30 minutes. The third opened today….

In the past 24 hours, the ER saw 353 patients with more than 70 percent with flu or flu-like illness, according to Seton.

That’s quite a sensible thing to do.  Keep the contagious respiratory viral illness out of the ED, where there are patients who don’t have it, but may be immunosuppressed, etc.

Good for Dell Childrens!