An Elegantly Icky Solution

Entertaining and medical!

I’d love to shield the identify of the patient in this story. But I can’t, and you’ll understand why in a minute. It’s not that I’m worried about a HIPAA violation or a law suit. After all, the patient was my mother-in-law. She and my father-in-law – Pop Pop – have moved in with us . . . so they aren’t going to sue anybody. And while I hesitate to embarrass my soft-spoken “Mom Mom” with the details of this tale, I have to tell this story straight. Here goes.

via An Elegantly Icky Solution.

Sounds like something we need to try earlier.

To Admit or Not to Admit? That is the Question. | WhiteCoat’s Call Room

Gastroenterologist Michael Kirsch put up a post on his blog that was then reposted over at ACP Hospitalist asking where the threshold for admitting a patient to the hospital should be.

He asserts that there should be more collaboration between medical colleagues to determine whether or not a patient needs to be hospitalized…

via To Admit or Not to Admit? That is the Question. | WhiteCoat’s Call Room.

Another WhiteCoat tour de force.

Standard of Care Project at EP Monthly

The Power of Agreement

We can stop baseless malpractice suits before they get started. How? By having a majority of practicing emergency physicians go on record as to the baseline “standard of care,” beneath which is negligence.

via Standard of Care Project at EPMonthly.

This has been rolling for a while, and I’ve been late to blog it.  That does not, in any way mean I’m not 100% FOR it.

The idea is beautifully simple: the Standard of Care in Emergency Medicine should be set by practicing EM physicians, not case-by case in courts before lay juries with battling experts.  (AAEM had the ‘remarkable testimony’ series as a retrospective attempt to shame ‘experts’ who gave, well, remarkable statements under oath, which to date has two cases in it).

This has the very real advantage of being a clear, concise peer statement that this is / is not the Standard of Care.

I voted (while at ACEP).  If you’re an Emergency Physician (and you have to cough up some information to determine your bona-fides before you can vote) go to the Standard of Care Project, and cast your vote.  They have set the bar at 30,000 votes, which is ambitious.  It’s also worth it.

EPMonthly on a roll

Several good articles in this Months’ Emergency Physicians’ Monthly (sadly, I read the dead-tree version first…it was in my reading room…)

My favorites for now:

Greg Henry on closing the ALS drug box, and Ronald Hellstern on Why Democratic Groups Fail.

Fun reading, well done. 


EPMonthly has really taken off recently.  Enjoyable reading.


Oh, WhiteCoat’s Call Room is not to be missed, either…

The few, the proud

Apparently, international emergency medicine isn’t for the faint of heart. And I’m not talking about CHF. You’ve gotta have guts. I found it interesting to learn that the greatest risk in practicing international emergency medicine is not that one might catch a communicable disease, but that one might die of physical violence. This according to Dr. Hilarie Cranmer, Clinical Instructor, Division of International Health and Humanitarian Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. In fact, physical violence against humanitarian workers is on the rise, and it is increasingly targeted and intentional. The red cross, which was once a symbol of protection, has become, for many, a target.

“We all want to save the world,” said Cranmer, “but you’re at great risk for doing so.”

Then again, emergency medicine isn’t a specialty for the risk-averse. I look around and see a lot of men and women ready and equipped for the challenge.

-Logan Plaster

Emergency Physicians Monthly

ICEM, Part I: Bat out of hell

First of all, a special thanks to GruntDoc for allowing me to host the blog this week while I attend the ICEM conference in San Francisco. A short travel story, without which any conference coverage would be incomplete. My wife and I arrived in the Bay Area last night after an uneventful flight and then promptly hopped into the cab from hell. Our driver looked sweet enough as we climbed in the car, but then we discovered that his right foot was made entirely of lead. He hurled through highway traffic at 90 mph. I kid you not. 90. In traffic. Let’s just say I’ll have to leave my scenic viewing of the Golden Gate Bridge to another ride.

But on to the show. ICEM is put on in coordination with the International Federation of Emergency Medicine (IFEM), a group which began as a small collection of countries with highly developed EM systems, but which has exploded in recent years. The meeting rotates through member countries, and the landmark international gathering will not take place in the United States again for at least 14 years. The conference will celebrate a year of unprecedented progress in the advancement of emergency medicine around the globe, such as in India where the specialty has finally made serious inroads thanks to the efforts of a little group of physicians called the American Association for Emergency Medicine in India (AAEMI). I have no doubt that the EM developments around the world will have far-reaching affects on the specialty in the United States.

-Logan Plaster

Emergency Physicians Monthly

Guest Host this week: Emergency Physician Monthly’s Logan Plaster

I’m very pleased to announce that Logan Plaster, Editor and Creative Director of Emergency Physicians’ Monthly will be blogging his insights and observations here during this weeks’ 12th International Conference on Emergency Medicine held in San Francisco.

I’m a big fan of EPMonthly, and enjoy reading it cover to cover every month. It’s my honor to host them here (and they have a website supporting their publication that’s terrific, check it out).

Come back often for his updates; he’s going to try to post pictures (and maybe video) in addition to the expected well-written text. I’m looking forward to it myself.