The only thing that Perfusion and Politics have in common is the letter “P”. Nothing else and nothing more.
I respect medicine, have given my life to it, and never thought I would see the day when the clarity of clinical reasoning would become muddled and muddied into an opaque morass of ambiguous strategies to deal with a clear menace to humanity- Covid 19. Our approach would normally resemble the surgical precision of a special forces opp- no ambiguity, no gray lines, just a simple concise plan to destroy, alter, mitigate or change the course of an opportunistic virus that will soon take as many American lives as we lost in World War II.
Today took the cake- as we did a case where the patient was diagnosed with Covid 2 weeks prior, and was summarily never retested, and also labeled as an non-risk encounter for the attending staff and basically should be treated an an uninfected patient, without ever actually ascertaining that fact with a Covid retest.
My question is… WHAT HAVE WE BECOME? If we choose to blur the lines here- then where are is our moral compass? First of all, the patient is obviously at a greater risk here, and at the same time at least 50 plus clinical personnel will face the probability of unprotected exposure. And then multiply that out to all of their families and people they come in contact with.
As a first responder, I can totally accept and absorb that risk. At this point we all do and are aware of it. No-one needs a pat on the back here- we all know we are in it to win it. Or at least not run, fail, and desert the people that need us the most. We have a choice- but our patient’s due to chance, bad luck, or life threatening circumstances- well they DONT have a choice, but they deserve the chance we have promised them. I don’t break promises, and neither do any of the many great people and clinical associates that I am honored to serve with.
What separates medicine from other occupations is a paradigm of clinical honesty. A sense of pureness that leads and inspires those of us in the field- to ALWAYS do the right thing. It has always been a clear slate for me, and I believe the higher calling and commitment that the Hippocratic oath denotes from the captain of the ship- and trickling down, has always inspired all of us in medicine- all of us who are there because there is an intangible and undeniable mandate that transcends any other calling out there.
I’m proud to be part of that.
I won’t speculate why we seem to be burying our heads in the sand like ostriches. These strategies are coming down from the top administrators and it’s beyond my pay grade to question the motives behind these new position statements. But it seems counterintuitive to suggest deniability to a clearly lethal and ambitious virus that is decimating our entire world.
In my opinion? The patient we operated on today was Covid positive. The edict to ignore that fact and subsequently treat the patient as if they were not infectious or infected, then leads to the staff not wearing N-95 masks, and all of a sudden- we are not irradiating the room post operation prior to another patient coming in? The hotels I am staying at are doing a better job of wiping down surfaces!
This is my WTF moment in medicine?
If we can lie, or ignore, or sugar coat something like this- then how on earth can our integrity be embraced?
Have we become liars?