Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The NICU diaries

So I spent most of the day in the NICU today finding ways to reduce distractions so nurses make less errors. While desperately trying to stay awake that early in the morning, sipping my coffee and speaking with the nurses, I found out an interesting fact: Pertussis (also known as "whooping cough") has been on the rise especially in neonates this past year. I watched as nurses rushed in and out of a pertussis patient's room as his stats dropped and the patient was bagged to keep him breathing. Mind you, this was also the same room where the past two perfectly healthy full-term babies had died from whooping cough. The mom was emotional during rounds. Doctors admitted options were running out. It was all a bit heartbreaking to watch.

You'd think pertussis vaccinations in the 1940's would have nearly eliminated this disease but unfortuantely, it seems like it's still lurking around. Of course the highest incidents occur in infants less than 6 months but kids over 7 are also contracting this contagious disease as their vaccine wears off. All this made me think of how much we still need to understand in medicine. So with that said, I am thankful for this job because I've gotten so many opportunities and experiences that sure beats learning from a textbook.         

The dream team: introducing.... Batman, the Incredible Hulk, Aquaman, Captain America, Bumblebee and some other grey robot, My coworker and I collect action figures at our cubicles. We are very serious about it.

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