Thursday, April 01, 2004

My illness has finally progressed to the point where I'm producing about half a cc of thick yellow sputum per hour. Niiiiiiiice. I've got spit cups and snot rags spread strategically all around the house so I don't have to put too much effort into clearing my system of mucus every few minutes.

On another note: I heard an interesting story in clinic today. One of the residents was on a flight from Paris to Houston last week when he heard over the intercom "Is there a doctor on the plane?" He looked around hesitantly for a few seconds to see if some grizzled veteran doctor would raise his hand. Of course, none did. So he steps up and goes to see what the problem is. Lady's story was suspicious for an early heart attack. Airplanes have AED's on board (automatic electronic defibrillators). She didn't need shocking, but you can use this particular machine to check the heart rhythm and look for signs of ischemia. Not as good as a full EKG, but it will do in a pinch. Turns out the lady is indeed beginning to have a heart attack. They're still somewhere over the Atlantic. The pilot tells the resident that they're still 5 hours from landing in Houston. The resident says, "Uh, not good enough." So based on this guy I know being an excellent physician, a couple hundred people got to spend some quality time in Newfoundland (the first part of North America that transatlantic flights see, for anybody that might have failed geography) and a little old lady's day got a heck of a lot better than it would have been.

After this story was told everybody that was sitting around the table at clinic is now having nightmares about what kind of unusual things could happen on airplanes.


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