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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Our Medical Experiences in Mexico

Removal of a ruptured spleen due to an automobile accident is a routine procedure in most, major, metropolitan hospitals. The recovery time is usually just a few weeks at most, and most individuals undergoing the procedure live normal lives.

The biggest problem that occurs is usually infection, which often is the result of poor sterile technique in the operating room. This is frequently a problem in third-world countries, and keeps a lot of malpractice lawyers in pocket money here in the states.

Depending upon your age, nursing care in the states ranges from poor to non-existent. Unfortunately, quality nursing care is a major component of the post surgical healing and recovery component. The one thing that those of us who have experience in the medical field enjoy is the ability to determine when something is going wrong. Those who do not have that hands-on experience are at the mercy of their caregivers.

I witnessed a classic example of this two weeks ago during a post MI visit with my cardiologist. He's a good guy, knows his stuff, but is part of a large cardiology practice that I consider nothing than a revolving door people mill. There were at least 30 patients in the waiting room when I arrived, and they were there to see two cardiologists. The wait time was nearly an hour, more for some.

The receptionist called my name, she took me to an exam room, told me to take off my shirt, and within a few minutes a technician came into the room with an EKG machine. She seemed to be in a hurry, quickly attached the electrodes, snapped on the wire leads, ran the EKG, took my blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level, then quickly moved to the next room saying "The doctor will be right with you."

The room was cold enough to safely hang a side of beef, I waited about 20 minutes, and was just about ready to put my shirt on when the doctor walked in. He listened to my lungs, heart, looked at the chart and said "Well, everything looks OK, your blood work is all great, and your EKG has an inverted T-wave, but that's Ok - it's part of the healing process."

Well, it wasn't OK, I had no eschemic damage when I had the MI because I have a lot of collateral circulation, and on the previous 20 EKGs there has never been an inverted T-wave. We had a real serious talk at that point, and I had him repeat the EKG. I suspected that the leg leads were reversed, and the repeat EKG had NO inverted T-wave. He came back into the exam room shortly after the EKG was completed and said "Well, everything looks OK now. Stop at the receptionist desk and make another appointment for six months from now - just as a follow-up."

Kinda gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling - doesn't it?

Cheers,

Gary
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