Thursday, June 26, 2008

Suit Sign

Anyone walking the halls of the hospital in a suit is either an attorney, mortician or an administrator. Either way, the outcome will not be good.

We just got back from our reality check in Guatamala and I really hope that we were able to help make some peoples days a little bit better. I was so saddened though when we saw that so many of the children in the orphanage had adoptive parents waiting for them but that the whole process was marred by attorneys our for their own good. We saw famlies waiting for 5 to 6 years because each step was met by another attorney needing $5000 for this and then that, stringing them along while another just comes out and says "give me $60,000 and I will see that all the paperwork is expeditied". The lawyers have turned orphans into their own little cash cows and they are milking them for all they can.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Never let a doctor start an IV!!!! To help pay for school I was an orderly and then an IV tech. I used to be able to start and IV on a turnip, but wait. We now have these special catheters that have been redesigned to prevent needle sticks by making them almost impossible to use. On top of that, they are 5 times more expensive! To start an IV we first would put in a tourniquet, look for a vein, prep it with alcohol and then stick the needle into the vein and advance the catheter over the needle. One it was in, you pulled out the needle and hooked it up. But wait, now we have to use a prepacked, disposable special preping swab and then use this thing that is spring loaded so that once the needle hits the vein you are supposed to press this little button that may or may not work that retracts the needle into the hub. In reality it sticks and you cant get the catheter off the thing, the patient bleeds and you blow the vein and have to start again on the other arm. Isn't it great! I wonder if the OSHA and JACHO guys are working for the company that makes these thing. It seems we have to use a lot more of the catheters becuase they just suck. The good thing is that I found a stash of the old IV catheters. Dont tell the JACHO Nazis.

Retrospective studies

I hate to say it but sometimes the overall process of medicine can just get me down. I mean all the hassles and paperwork, the politics and the economics. A reality check is sometimes needed. For us these reality checks are in the form of mission trips. It is amazing to see people walk for two days just to have their children seen for diseases that are rare here secondary to vaccinations and sanitation. You don't know how good you have it until you see a child with polio or see an infant suffocate from whooping cough. We do our best with the medications that we can backpack in. There are no forms, no insurance companies, only people trying to help. We try to vaccinate, give vitmains are kill parasites. There are no MRIs or CTs. Bleach is our best medication as it can make water safe. Clean water is life.

There you try to do the best with what you have and you pray that it is enough.

On the trip back the first thing we see as we get back to the States, a big sign for trial attorneys trying to drum up business to sue for malpractice and nursing homes. We had doctors and nurses, builders and engineers, teachers and postal workers, homemakers and accountants on our last mission trip. We had no attorneys, health insurance claim adjustors or JACHO auditors.

Monday, June 9, 2008

MAP Packs

(Mission Aid Packs) I know that the drug companies are the target of all the scorn the media can launch but I wonder how much the drugs would cost if we could get them straight from them instead of having to pay the wholesaler and then the retail chain? For our mission trips to Guatemala we call the drug companies and they supply us with MAP packs. These are awsesome and contain a whole formulary of medications. These things are amazing! There is everything from cephalosporins to antivirals, blood pressure meds to inhalers. They rock! If you try to get anything from CVS or Walgreens, they look at you like you are nuts! I wonder who really deserves the scorn!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Goody's and a RC Cola

(breakfast of champions!) More musings while I await the CT results. Usually I hang out in the scanner control room but we are three deep and the alcoholic who fell and hit his head is first. There is the usual aroma of ketones, stale beer, vomit, urine and burnt popcorn wafting through the hall. He is giving a running discourse on how he is spending his "stimulus check" and how bad his head hurts and want's to know why we don't give him a Goody's and a RC. The CT tech is trying to guess how much he weighs and if he will fit in the scanner. (It is only good to 400 pounds). I can not tell but I think they had to use 2 backboards for him.

Nuts, the popcorn nuked in the microwave again. Howcome there is always that one mutant bag of popcorn that undergoes meltdown? Oh well, there might be a few good kernals in there somewhere. Coffee is burnt too. I think the guy in CT is right, a Goody's and a RC would be good right now.