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Health Care Is Stuck In The Past

We respond to certain “Code Blue” situations in our hospital. In the ED, of course, and in the outpatient areas and radiology, and if needed as back-up in the inpatient units. The hospital issues one of those overhead calls when there is a code blue — a cardiac arrest or other collapse, person down, injury, etc., but we also carry a pager in the ER in case we don’t hear the overhead call. The pager also signifies which doc is designated to respond to such a call, since we often have 8 docs working at once. It’s a little ritual we have at change of shift, passing off the pager and the spectralink phone, like the passing of the torch to the oncoming doc.

So of course I took the pager home the other day and had to make an extra trip to the hospital to return it. Ugh.

As I was driving back in, I took a moment to really look at the thing, and it struck me that this pager is the exact same model I used in medical school and residency, way back in the mid nineties. The exact same one: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*

A Doctor’s Hauntings

2:30AM: The beeper sounds. “Please call the ER x2222.” Why are they calling me? I’m not on call. A flash then a clap of thunder outside. “Your patient from a few days ago is here in the ER.”

The mind races. You remember the case clearly. No problem at all. What could be going on? You ask 20 questions, you get 20 answers. All of the bases have been covered. “Doin’ better now,” you’re told. “We’ll just admit ’em and you can see ‘em in the morning.” Hesitantly you return to bed, mind racing. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

Has Technology Improved The Code Blue Experience?

Code Blue Then & Now…


11:30 pm – Cackling though the overhead intercom system:
“Code Blue, Three East, Room 236”

A thunderous herd of medical students, residents, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, social workers, security personnel descend on the scene. Arriving, the chief resident is in charge at the foot of the bed. IV’s have been started, some young well-muscled individual is bobbing up and down on the unseen’s chest, brow glistening with sweat, but focused. An anesthesiologist, noting the agonal rhythm, works to secure the airway, then a central line. Nurses administer drugs, bring line kits. Airway secured. “EKG? Where’s the EKG?” Electrode replaced. “Story? Who’s got the story?” Ten. Twenty. Thirty. The minutes pass. Finally, silence, as the monitors removed and the group departs. Like sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

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