Makes Me Wonder

Sometimes I have a hard time trying to separate fact from fiction; especially when patients start giving me a back story to explain why they haven’t had follow up for a medical problem, or how their narcotics got stolen/lost/misplaced, etc. I sometimes think, seriously? Is that really how bad your life is? Come on…

I know times are hard for a lot of people, but when you’re a 30-something, insulin-dependent, right AKA with non-healing wounds who social work bent over backward following your last admission to get you a clean place to live, home health care visits and arranged for a primary care physician so that you could regularly get medical care and, more importantly, your prescriptions, it’s poor form to miss appointments and get dropped from the practice.

Yes, I know it’s easy to get kicked out of your place within a month for having a dog which wasn’t allowed in the first place and which you acquired AFTER you moved in. What home isn’t complete without a loving pet? And, since you couldn’t afford a place before because of your limited SSI, I am sure adding vet bills, dog feed, and vaccinations to your budget will be no problem at all. And, sure, having a significant other who doesn’t work and who smokes despite the no-smoking policy of the building management is a problem especially when they’re not supposed to be on the property either. Yes, darn those apartment landlords and their stupid rules.

Now, I understand that you had previously been living in your car and had been lucky to have a nice place to live, but why couldn’t you drive that car to the appointment again? I’m sorry, you’re now having to live in it again… is it in working order? How did you get here again? What? It’s a legitimate question since you came 20 miles out of your way from your hometown to our E.D. Sure, yes, well, you’re in luck, we have no beds and are having to send all of our admissions north to our sister hospital. So, you’ll be closer to, um, home… and, besides, those social workers already know you and have done all of the leg work already, so there’s that too.

Then there’s the “I need a drug refill because my meds were stolen after I moved out from the last place I was in.” My answer is simply “drugs and scripts are like money, if you lose it, it’s gone and there’s no replacing it.” Besides, we have pain contracts with the local primary care M.D.’s, and they say, “No.” I still get some interesting stories, though, of backpacks being left “for just a second,” or of drugs disappearing “while I was taking a nap” or of pills in a lockbox in someone else’s house that mysteriously disappear when the person with the key leaves the house to go out to get some smokes. My favorite is the “I left them at my ex’s house, and now I can’t get them back.” “Did you file a police report?” “Well, um, yeah.” “Ok, let me talk to the police department and confirm the report number.” “Yeah, well, um.” “So, which police officer was it again..?” “Um, well, yeah it’s kinda like this…”

Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” Twain must have worked in an E.D.

Human Factors in Aeromedical Retrieval & Critical Care

Hello. Following on from the Podcast with Amit and Andy and the discussion we had on Crisis resource management and Non technical skills, revolving around an emergency airway case, I recalled a lecture I recorded for the RFDS aeromedical training program on the topic. I pulled it out and dusted it off and have posted it below.

I hope this may help you communicate with total strangers effectively, deal with crises in a better manner and be prepared in a way that allows you to sleep at night easier.

stay safe and enjoy


Now onto the lecture!

Human Factors in Aeromedical Retrieval and Critical Care

Human Factors in Aeromedical Retrieval and Critical Care

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Filed under: Aeromedical retrieval, Emergency anaesthesia, Emergency medicine and critical care
Human Factors in Aeromedical Retrieval and Critical Care

Best Case Ever 10: Pediatric Syncope

Pediatric Syncope usually has a benign cause, but may be a warning for sudden death. As a bonus to Episode 25 on ‘Pediatric & Adult Syncope’ with Dr. Eric Letovsky and Dr. Anna Jarvis, 'Canada's mother of Pediatric Emergency Medicine', we have Dr. Jarvis’s Best Case Ever. In the related episode we will cover how to differentiate syncope from seizure, key historical and physical exam clues to determine a cause of syncope, ECG pearls of syncope causing cardiac conditions, from Congenital Prolonged QT Syndrome to Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, the value of syncope decision rules such as the ROSE rule and the San Francisco Syncope Rule, the value of ancillary testing, including Holter monitoring, Echocardiograms and Stress Testing and much more......

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