resonance42: (wearedoctors)
[personal profile] resonance42
On overnight call in the PICU. During this day, a number of useful hints and life lessons have come up.

The most salient ones being:

1. A 5 day-old baby is not a football. It is not acceptable under any circumstances to throw a baby. Even if it's into a couch.

2. If your baby has a high fever, neck stiffness, and is seizing, it is not okay to refuse to go to the hospital and try to 'treat' this yourself. The baby, if s/he survives, will have lifelong brain damage. There are few things I can guarantee in medicine. This is one of them.

3. When jaywalking across a busy road while carrying a baby, it is not okay to tell the two 8 year-olds with you to just 'run for it.' Especially if there's a large semi truck barreling down one of those lanes.

4. A large semi truck has a very long stopping distance. A very long stopping distance.

5. Do not feed whole grapes to children under 4. Whole grapes have this annoying tendency to get lodged in windpipes, which are remarkably about the same size as the grape. Then the child does really un-fun things like choke, turn blue, and try to die. In case that event occurs, it would be a good idea to call EMS immediately rather than wait around to see if the child will 'get over it.'

Date: 2008-04-28 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To build on your points from my own most recent week on service:

re: #1) And especially not into a television set.

re: #3) Nor is a good idea to attempt surfing on a vehicle barreling down a lane. You will fail. And then you will impact the ground at speed.

Date: 2008-04-28 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep. We had a skateboarding injury recently where a teenager tried to hang off a car.

Problems were:
1. Traveling at 35 mph
2. Hitting a pothole at 35 mph
3. No protective equipment.

Date: 2008-04-28 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jesus. Some people are Really Bad Parents. It makes one feel really really grateful for having survived childhood with only a mild Jewish guilt syndrome. I don't know how you survive dealing with this stuff day after day. My own job sometimes leads to me feeling horribly cynical, and it is so much milder than this.

Date: 2008-04-28 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah. I've basically given up grapes for the indefinite future, much as I like them. We're probably a little more careless on the food products than is necessarily wise (Mac has a desperate love for granola bars, which I tear into small pieces), but we also have a son with a nearly full set of teeth who's very into chewing. Still, grapes are out.

And urgl, on the throwing of babies. I was pretty terrified just _holding_ Mac at that age!


Date: 2008-04-28 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ah, I never realized before just how close I must have come to death as a child...

Date: 2008-04-28 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Amethyst's Rule #1 is proven again - multiple times, even!

(rule #1: people are stupid!)

Maybe people should be required to take some sort of exam before impregnating/being impregnated. *sigh*

Date: 2008-04-28 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Frankly, I'm starting to think that both males and females should have their tubes mandatorially tied until the age of 30, at which point they need to take an 'am I smart enough NOW to be a parent' test.

Date: 2008-04-28 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now and then i wonder if i should have gone to medical school. A post like this reminds me why i decided it wasn't right for me.

Thank you for doing the job that i couldn't handle.

Date: 2008-05-04 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love the job. I agree with you - it's not right for everyone, and it shouldn't be.

Everyone thinks of pediatrics as happy and shiny all the time - giving kids lollipops to say 'ah.'

I think I've seen the darker side of humanity as a pediatrician more than in any other field of health care.

Date: 2008-04-28 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And thank you very much for not telling us the prognoses of those cases.

Unless you want to tell us they all lived (or will live) happily ever after.

Date: 2008-05-04 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
All lived.

Happily ever after is a different story.

Date: 2008-04-28 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Jezus. How many of those 4 cases had to be referred to child welfare?

Goddamn, it is _scary_ what some people will do to kids, and just out of neglect rather than malice....

Date: 2008-05-04 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
All but the last one.

Social work was involved, but we felt that it was an honest mistake, and the years frightened out of their lives was an adequate admonition.

Edited Date: 2008-05-04 10:24 pm (UTC)
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