Friday, October 21, 2011

Well hello world, long time no see!

I've been horrible and I abandoned this blog for the last two years.  I absolutely love blogging but have been focusing all my attention on my country music blog  Starting in January I will once again begin keeping this blog up-to-date and totally exciting.

Okay, the exciting part might be a stretch, but at least up-to-date and hopefully relevant to my fellow MTs.  I will also be purchasing a new domain name since I let my other lapse and somebody swooped in and purchased it.

Anyway, if you've kept my site in your feed reader, thank you.  To anyone who visits and would like to add us to your feed reader, then please be sure to add to your feed reader so that when I do start updating again, you'll know.  You can also follow us on Facebook at  I will simplify the Facebook name once I've bought my domain name to make sure that I can get the name I want.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Simple step saves lives

My husband is the king of to-do lists. When we go camping, he makes a list. When we go grocery shopping, he makes a list. When we go on a trip, he makes a list. In fact, when we drove to the coast last year he made a list of all the towns we would encounter along the way with the number of miles from that town to the coast and how many miles we had driven from our hometown to that town. He said it was for the kids so that when they asked how long we had left he could tell them exactly; I know it was actually for his benefit though.

Well who knew that the little to-do list can be more than the anal-retentive husband's friend? It can actually save lives.

According to a new report, doctors worldwide who followed a simple list during surgery "cut the death rate from surgery almost in half and complications by more than a third in a large international study of how to avoid blatant operating room mistakes."

Okay, time to make lists mandatory in hospitals I think.

Some of the 19-item checklist used in the study included:

  • Before the patient is given anesthesia, make sure the part of the body to be operated on is marked, and make sure everyone on the surgical team knows if the patient has an allergy.
  • Before the surgeons cut, make sure everyone in the operating room knows one another and what their roles will be during the operation, and confirm that all the needed X-rays and scan images are in the room.
  • After surgery, check that all the needles, sponges and instruments are accounted for.

Before the checklist was introduced, 1.5 percent of patients in a comparison group died within 30 days of surgery at the eight hospitals. Afterward, the rate dropped to 0.8 percent — a 47 percent decrease.

Good news, though, the Joint Commission is considering making more lists mandatory.


It's modern art, try not to puke

This is kind of interesting in a totally disturbing and disgusting way.

There's a sculpture at the Universite du Quebec's art gallery in Montreal (show running through Valentine's Day) called Cloaca No. 5 that reproduces the human digestive tract - burps, farts, poo and all.

The machine is fed, it digests, and then at the end of the day it does it's business, all in the name of art.

Despite reproducing a bodily function, the creator doesn't believe his contraption belongs in a science museum.

"I don't have that ego," he said, with a chuckle. "I'm not helping sick people. I'm practically useless in society."

More here.

Gift Alert! Plush guts

Oh what to get the MT or doctor in your life who has it all....

How about some cute plush innards? I Heart Guts is packed full of cute little stuffed hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys.

Unfortunately, the stuffed uterus has been recalled due to not being all that child safe, but never fear, there's lots more where that one came from.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boy grows second skeleton

Shane Terry is a 4-year-old little boy in Watertown, NY who has one of only 600 confirmed cases in the world of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, or FOP, a disease which causes bone to form in muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissue.

“When he was first diagnosed, I wanted to keep him in a bubble,” Kimberly A. Hayes, Shane’s mother, told the newspaper. “Through an FOP group online, I learned that I need to let him be as much of a kid as I can. I have to look at every situation to see which would be safest for Shane.”

The life expectancy of this disease is only 41 as there is no known cure.

Read the whole article here or visit the FOP website here.

Double arm transplant recipient doing well

The world's first complete double arm transplant recipient, Karl Merk, is doing well after surgery.

"It was really overwhelming when I saw that I had arms again," said the 54-year-old, who wore a sleeveless black shirt showing clearly where his new arms had been grafted.

"These are my arms, and I'm not giving them away again," he told reporters at the Munich University Clinic where he remains nearly three months after the 15-hour operation.

It took a team of 40 surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and other support staff to perform the 15-hour operation on July 25-26. Merk lost his arms just below the shoulder in a combine harvester accident six years ago.

Doctors say there is an indication that nerves are growing back but that it could take up to two years for him to relearn how to use his hands.

Amazing what doctors are able to do now. You can read the whole article here and here.

Yeah, but do they charge full price?

I must say this surprised me. A new survey shows that about half of American doctors say they regularly give patients placebo treatments — usually drugs or vitamins that won't really help their condition. Also found is that many of the doctors aren't honest with the patient about what they're doing. Well duh, doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of a placebo?

I type a lot of reports where the patient will have 15 or 20 medications and never once have I come across one that says placebo after it. It seems this might be a dangerously deceiving practice to me.

"It's a disturbing finding," said Franklin G. Miller, director of the research ethics program at the U.S. National Institutes Health and one of the study authors. "There is an element of deception here which is contrary to the principle of informed consent."

I'm not so much worried about the deception as I am about whether the doctor is charging regular price for these placebos. I'd be pissed if I found out I was paying regular price for something that didn't actually do anything.