Archives for November 2009

Dr. Wes: US Health Care Reform Photoshop Contest

Dr. Wes: US Health Care Reform Photoshop Contest

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season and to make sure something on health care reform gets done before the end of the year, Dr. Wes and his wife, Diane, would like to propose the first (and perhaps only) US Healthcare Reform Photoshop Contest.

Bring us your snark, your wit, your creativity about the health care reform efforts encapsulated in a single photograph. Photographs in support or against the current efforts will be equally considered, and you, dear internet devotees, will be the final judge. The winner receives an iPod Touch.

Sheer genius. I only wish a) I knew enough about photoshop not to be a liability, and b) I had an imagination. Let’s see yours…(imagination).

The Swann

Dr. Ganz has died at 90.

William Ganz, Catheter Inventor, Dies at 90

Published: November 13, 2009

Dr. William Ganz, a cardiologist and medical inventor who helped develop a revolutionary catheter to measure blood flow and heart functions, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 90. … 200911140159.jpg

The catheter, which is used more than one million times a year in the United States, is known as the Swan-Ganz because Dr. Ganz created it with Dr. Jeremy Swan at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It is inserted through a vein in the neck, shoulder or groin and fed into the right side of the heart. A balloon at the device’s tip allows it to be carried along by blood flow.

I was fortunate enough to get a chance to ‘float a Swan’ a few times as a resident, and never since. Are they still used?

I recall doing a lot of longhand math after a Swan, and a terrific amount of information could be discerned…and then it was kind of a big pain to decide when it was no longer needed.

Thanks, Dr. Ganz, and, are they still in frequent ICU use?

How to remember where you’ve parked

Well, how I remember.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel in and out of DFW several times recently.  I fly American most of the time, because I like to see just how small a seat I can get into, and guessing which terminal I’ll return to is unpredictable, which is what every traveler wants at the end of a journey.  Win win.

I’ve taken to snapping a photo of the nearest parking lot ID post.  To their credit, no “Itchy vs Scratchy” lots at DFW, and terminal D is well marked indeed:

007 You’re about to say ‘how can you forget where you parked’, and congratulations on your superior memory.  Me?  I have a picture to remind me.

I wondered why the AMA was still pushing Pelosi’s bill…

Dems’ slick fix: $210 billion of fiscal restraint | Washington Examiner
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
November 13, 2009

Something unusual and largely unnoticed happened last week as Democrats pushed the national health care bill through the House. In a complicated, late-night maneuver, on a party-line vote, the House Rules Committee used the health bill to pave the way for a $210 billion increase in Medicare payments to doctors, without any money budgeted to pay for it. Congress then combined that $210 billion with a measure that would force lawmakers to exercise fiscal discipline — except when it came to the $210 billion.

It was a particularly slick move, even by congressional standards. With one vote, committee Democrats managed to propose spending a huge amount of money while also claiming to clamp down on spending. More importantly, they threw a very big bone to several physicians organizations, which badly want the increased doctor payments and to whom Democrats are deeply indebted for support of health care legislation. And at the same time, they gave cover to moderate Democrats, who are under pressure to support health reform but also fear the wrath of voters concerned about overspending.

This is pretty much the same sort of move the Senate voted down earlier.  I, like every other doctor, wants the SGR problem fixed, but this isn’t the way to do it.

How do I pick wines?

By the label.  Funny > interesting > anything else.

I’m not an oenophile.  Hardly.  I’m becoming a beer-o-phile, but that is a work in progress, and so far as I know there’s no specific data on beer drinking being cardioprotective (as opposed to the 2 drinks a day isn’t bad for you dictum).  Therefore, wine with some dinners (and never on a work day, I’m not a pilot…)

I bought this the other day, strictly based on the label:

004 It’s got everything I could want: interesting label, aviation link, and history!  Oh, and it’s a wine of some sort.

So, not a sophisticate.  Again.

Who are my readers, really?

I’ve been asked this quite a lot recently, and have no idea.  I know, more or less, the commenters, but there are quite a number of readers who don’t comment.

So, who are you?  Scouts’ Honor, now, and you’re only allowed to vote once.  (I’m not looking for any particular answer here, it’s just a completely unscientific survey…).  Choose one.  It’s up to you.

Who are you who reads this blog?
Allied Health
Valuable Reader
Mom free polls

Weird.  Buttons don’t display properly.  The TOP one is "VOTE", the LOWER one is "VIEW RESULTS".  Weird.

I’ll turn this off in a week or so.  I’m interested in knowing who the nine of you are!


Update: After about 24 hours of voting:


I find this very surprising,  Lotta docs (comparatively), fewer nurses than I would have thought, etc.  (It’s totally unscientific, but it’s interesting nonetheless).

MedGadget’s SciFi Contest is on!

A day late and a couple of dollars short on the announcement, but:

We are excited to announce our annual Medgadget Sci-Fi Writing Contest! Now in its fourth year, the competition is designed to showcase fictional stories written by our readers, stories that transport us into the future of medicine. Whether it is a hitherto unknown ethical dilemma that will come up many years from now or an imaginary technology, we can’t wait to see this year’s entries!

Go there, read the rules, and write your SciFi heart out.  I get to judge (and it’s quite an honor to get to read all the submissions).  If you win, you get a Kindle!


Entries due November 16th, so get-a-typing…

BLACKFIVE: Veterans Day – Part 1 – We Start With the Late Great Mike Royko

Blackfive has a Mike Royko column about how a lot veterans will be working on Veterans’ Day, while non-vets get the day off (I’ll be working, as well…) and he has a legislative solution:

BLACKFIVE: Veterans Day – Part 1 – We Start With the Late Great Mike Royko
…Of course that’s a raw deal. So I propose that the members of Congress revise Veterans Day to provide the following:

– All veterans — and only veterans — should have the day off from work. It doesn’t matter if they were combat heroes or stateside clerk-typists.

Anybody who went through basic training and was awakened before dawn by a red-neck drill sergeant who bellowed: “Drop your whatsis and grab your socks and fall out on the road,” is entitled….

Go over there and read the rest.  Funny, and a good idea…

Veterans Day

From Cox & Forkum
Happy Veterans' Day

I miss Cox and Forkum (I first ran this in 2004).

Thank a vet today.  Also, today’s the last day to give to Project Valour IT (inside the competition window, they’d be glad for donations anytime…)

Happy Birthday Marines!

I post this every year, and I still enjoy it…
original poster from:

Korean HBP Reaction: Seeing is Believing | The Dugout Doctors

Korean HBP Reaction: Seeing is Believing | The Dugout Doctors

Watch the video.  I look forward to your explanation…

Fort Hood Shooting

From the Austin American Statesman:

Scott & White in Temple receives 10 patients.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Fort Hood shooting victims were dispersed to hospitals throughout Central Texas, where few details of their injuries or prognoses were released Thursday evening.

The first stop for many of those injured was the Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood and the Metroplex Adventist Hospital in nearby Killeen. The more serious were then transferred to other hospitals so patients could receive specialized care.

Ten of the wounded were taken to Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, 26 miles from the Army post’s main gate.

Of those patients, four were in operating rooms late Thursday and some others were in critical care, said Dr. Robert Greenberg, vice chair of the department of emergency medicine at Scott & White.

I head on the radio on the way home that the call for blood donations has been satisfied, and they’re closed for that now.

I have nothing but respect for those in uniform, and have no words for the families of those killed and wounded by a traitor in their midst.

We’re going to hear a lot about this murderous POS, and not enough about the dedicated soldiers who rescued their fellow men and women. Just like the VA Tech shooter, I’d like nothing more than to name him an Un-Person.

6,000 dollars a minute for your deceased son in the UC Davis Trauma Center

Wow. Just wow:

Hospital bill stuns slain student’s parents

By Sam Stanton

“It was just devastating and insulting,” Gerald Hawkins said Monday. “It’s just hard to grasp for words. My wife and I were near collapse.”

On Saturday, 10 days after Scott Hawkins was beaten to death inside his dormitory at California State University, Sacramento, his parents got a letter in the mail.

It contained a bill from the UC Davis Medical Center for $29,186.50 along with a form letter addressed “Dear Patient” that implied they were indigent and stated that the hospital no longer could provide them services.

“UC Davis can no longer provide follow-up care or any other non-emergency care to you,” it read. “Please go to a County clinic for all non-emergency care or to get a referral to another doctor.”

For Gerald and Elizabeth Hawkins, it was just too much to bear.

So, their son is a victim of a homicide, at the ripe old age of nineteen. In a UC Dorm. No doubt a bright person with an unlimited future, cut tragically short.

Contacted by The Bee on Monday, Carole Gan, a hospital spokeswoman, called the mailing “a mistake.”

You don’t say.

She said she was limited in what information she could provide about the medical care provided to Scott Hawkins, but said he arrived at the emergency room at 3:11 p.m. and was pronounced dead five minutes later.

“The trauma team did everything they could,” Gan said.

I’m more aware than most of the number of people involved in a Trauma Activation, and it’s a lot. Those peoples’ time has to be paid for.  It’s not, or shouldn’t be, $6,000/minute.

I’m also generally but not specifically aware of the obscenity of being sent a bill for nearly $30K for your son’s death. That is horrible, horrific and inexcusable on every level. For shame.


Condolences to the family.

Todays’ Words of Wisdom

Try never to alienate someone who can give you a kidney.