Well this certainly has been a long month. Global weather patterns have absolutely demonstrated that we survive as a community and not as individuals. Unfortunately during the last three weeks, multiple Internet servers were down and thus exposed the soft underbelly of the reptile so to speak – making it painfully obvious that all of our communications hinge on the availability of both electricity and the Internet highway- which in this case was pretty swamped by unusually intrepid swells. A stark reminder that we are not as far away from gathering at fire pits to reorganize and get our wits together as perhaps we either thought we were, or weren’t ready to reconcile our dependency on high-technology. How foolish of us. We have abandoned wrote memorization of basic numbers (phones, perfusion calculation or otherwise- but addresses are lost as well as we depend so much on our calculations.
Ask yourself this- as a heart program… Who do you really have on the end of a phone call that can send you material or personnel support if it comes down to crunch time- and you absolutely NEED to save a few lives? Who is there for you? And how fast can they help you? Conversely? HOW FAST CAN YOU HELP THEM?
Certainly the devastation of two hurricanes in a period of three weeks has made many things evident, the first being that you really need to know where materials in your supply chain originate from- if you want to continue running your open heart program. It’s not the big things that get you, as I was told so long ago by one of my mentors, it’s the little things that can snowball and effect your bottom line whether it’s the getting to the end of a pump run, or something as simple as not having the reagent to run your quality controls on your lab equipment, all because they happen to be manufactured or distributed in places such as Houston Texas, or Florida as an entire state, both of which suffered immensely to two hurricanes hitting the United States mainland.
As much as you would like to think that you are ready and prepared, (I’m pretty sure all of us feel that we have the wherewithal to predict and anticipate our material requirements in order to meet our clinical needs), there are just too many interrelated aspects of the supply chain required to run open-heart programs, that eventually something is bound to get missed or overlooked. That one tiny thing, can bring a heart program to a screeching halt. That has been made quite evident in the last month or so.
As a global community, we are just developing a network that allows us to share our clinical perceptions and discuss current trends regarding cardiovascular perfusion. However, we have not yet developed any sort of process by which we can render assistance to one another in terms of offering relief, whether material, staff personnel, or otherwise to help suffering programs that have for one reason or another- been incapacitated in terms of their ability to service their respective communities with perfusion or open-heart related services.
I don’t really have an answer for this, and certainly welcome anybody that does. I think it’s laudable that we have come as far as we have, but when it comes to material shortages etc. I don’t know that there is a truly viable solution in terms of getting help or materials to heart programs that have been compromised due to untoward and unanticipated natural or political events.
Ideas or Suggestions?
God Bless and Safe Pump Runs 🙂