Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Looks like the upcoming Chinese New Year is keeping the crowds away. *standing up to wave my arms in the air and do a little chicken dance* Okay, I'm back in my chair. Got my Oxford series text on Paediatric Emergencies with me, all ready for reading over the next few hours.

People who know where I work have been asking if I saw the man who died in a house fire in the East Coast area a couple of days back. The answer is no. I was on night shift, and I believe he was brought in during the day. Reports state no fewer than 10 doctors were called in to help resuscitate him. I can't confirm that at the moment, but off the top of my head, it sounds a little inaccurate. We've got medical students around, so maybe someone mistook them for doctors. Still, it's possible I guess, with 2 or 3 ER physicians, 2 or 3 general or orthopaedic surgeons, maybe even a few medical or anaesthetic people chipping in. Must've been quite a scene. Pity I missed it.

Drama in the ER is unpredictable yet expected on every shift, and I've had my share of experiences, extending all the way from medical school to my years as an MO. In 4th year, I watched an ER doc deliver a breech baby right there in resus -- successfully, mind you. [ Unbelievable! ] CPRs and intubations get a little routine after a while, so the things that stick in my mind are: the young fellow who shot himself in the head when his girlfriend left him; the woman who coughed / vomitted a fountain of blood after a tonsillectomy; the various multi-trauma victims ( especially those who committed suicide -- the most tragic ) and yes, even the super-nasty ones. For one of my fellow year-mates, seeing 3 SARS cases without knowing it till after the diagnosis was made at TTSH was nerve-wracking. I hope I don't have to go through that again. One similar episode during my internal med rotation is more than enough.

The January 2004 issue of the SMA News is out online. Here's the link:

SMA News 1/2004

Check out "Kill Hospital Bill: Vol. 1" by Dr. Toh Han Chong, a consultant oncologist at the National Cancer Centre, and our deputy editor. He's a movie buff, like myself, so his article has lots of film analogies, which make it both hilarious and great reading. :D A good illustration of writing talent within the local medical community.

I don't have much to report today, but remember to watch "Monk" tonight, 9pm Channel 18 Starworld, on cable. :)

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