Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Wisconsin Supreme Court resorts to violence

Anyone who has been following Wisconsin politics knows it has been, well, interesting. Marches on the Capitol, Senators leaving the state, midnight votes, there has been all kinds of things going on here in Wississippi. Now we have a Supreme Court judge allegedly putting a chokehold on another Supreme Court judge. His defense? He was defending himself, sort of like she flung her neck into his hands. At least its entertaining:-)

Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley late Saturday accused fellow Justice David Prosser of putting her in a chokehold during a dispute in her office earlier this month.

"The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold," Bradley told the Journal Sentinel.

Sources told the Journal Sentinel two very different stories Saturday about what occurred. Some confirmed Bradley's version. According to others, Bradley charged Prosser, who raised his hands to defend himself and made contact with her neck.

A joint investigation by Wisconsin Public Radio and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism first reported on the incident early Saturday, stating that Prosser "allegedly grabbed" Bradley around the neck.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why you should never go to the hospital in July

Came across this article, thought it would be of interest. I have personal experience with this with 2 of my kids.

Do not get sick in July. Why? You might die.

A recent study published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported a 10 percent spike in teaching hospital deaths during the month of July due to medical errors. We call this spike “The July Effect” and we attribute it to the influx of new interns and residents.

Typically, medical students graduate in June and begin their first year of residency training — internship — in July. This group of eager new interns invades the hospital to learn, care for patients, and make medical decisions. One problem. They don’t know what they’re doing.

Like most interns, I arrived with four years of medical school under my belt, an M.D. after my name, and virtually no practical knowledge of medicine. Although I wore the long white coat of a doctor, I kept my pockets packed with condensed medical manuals that we called our “peripheral brains” to make up for the lack of knowledge held in my actual brain. Thank God for these manuals. Otherwise I would have been part of “The July Effect.”

My first night on call. I walk down a dimly lit hallway toward my call room, the only sound the intermittent beeping of a heart monitor. Suddenly, a loud siren rings overhead. A nurse rushes out of a room right in front of me.

“Call a code!” she yells to a secretary. The nurse looks in my direction and asks, “You’re a resident, right? I need you to run this code!”

I look left, right, and behind me.

Gulp. She’s talking to me.

“OK,” I say, hoping that she hasn’t noticed that my voice has leaped an octave.

The truth is, I’ve just finished orientation, which included a course in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, but I have not spent a minute reviewing the manual. Confession: I’m not feeling all that confident.

I rushed with the nurse into the patient’s room. I see on the cardiac monitor that the patient is in ventricular fibrillation, the heart rhythm that immediately precedes death. Squeezing an oxygen mask, a nurse stands above the patient’s head. A second nurse runs medications into an IV.

“What should we do, doctor?”

My mind goes blank. I have absolutely no idea.

I pull out my “peripheral brain,” flip to the section on “ventricular fibrillation.” Aha! Got the treatment. Cardioversion - commonly called electric shocks.

[By cardioversion, I'm using a general term for restoring a heart to its correct rhythm. ]

“Get me the paddles!” I say, my voice rising.

The nurse shoves the paddles into my hands and sets the power to the appropriate level.

“Clear!” I yell, and place the paddles on the patient’s chest.

“STOP!” the nurse screams.

She grabs my hands and moves the paddles to a different spot on the patient’s chest.

One more second and I would have shocked his liver.

“Clear!” I yell again, and press the defibrillation button.

The patient jerks slightly and for an instant the heart monitor goes wild. Then it completely stops. We stand still, staring at the monitor for what seems like minutes, awaiting his new cardiac rhythm.

Beep… beep… beep.

Normal.

He’s saved.

I let out a breath of relief.

Within seconds, several residents enter the room and take over for me. I gladly step aside. I go back to my call room, both exhilarated that I’ve saved a patient’s life and freaking out that I nearly made a mistake would have cost it. I’ve learned my lesson. I pull out my heart book and study it cover-to-cover until dawn.

Everyone - even doctors, especially doctors - have to learn and train in order to become proficient. Interns start out as rookies, not seasoned veterans. Experience takes time.

So if you have to go to a hospital in July, treat the new interns with patience and respect.

Then check with your nurse to make sure they know what they’re doing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dont be afraid to ask if the lawsuit is frivolous

Sometimes we are afraid of the answer. "Is this a frivolous lawsuit?" "Yes."
So what if the defendant thinks it is?
I have found in my experience, the defendant usually says no.
Here is a clip from a recent deposition where I asked the defendant doctor just that.

video

Please check out my website

I have figured out how to add video content to my trial consulting website. Im sure it will go slow, but my aim is to add short video clips from presentations I have given that may be of interest. I also want to add deposition clips that show different deposition techniques that have worked for me.
You can access them from the home page by clicking the link "Video presentations."

So sit back, grab a handful of popcorn and let me know what you think.