Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drunken/Hung Over Physicians, In Surgery

Fierce Healthcare has:
Study: Even 24 Hours Later, Surgeons Who Drink More Prone To Mistakes

Hospitals or healthcare organizations may want to consider putting rules into place on how much alcohol a surgeon may consume on the day before working in the operating room, suggests a new study in the Archives of Surgery.

"Historically, the medical profession has had a reputation for high rates of alcohol consumption," wrote the researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. "It is likely that surgeons are unaware (???) that next-day surgical performance may be compromised as a result of significant alcohol intake."

To study the situation, a virtual reality system--and not real patients--were used. To evaluate the degree of that impairment, the researchers invited eight surgeons and 16 students out for a dinner: Half the students and the eight surgical professionals were encouraged to drink as much they wanted until they felt drunk. The rest of the students were not allowed to drink.

The following day, all participants went to a lab to perform laparoscopic surgerical procedures. At 9 a.m., the participants who drank made about 19 errors on average, while those who did not drink made eight errors. This difference had not been reported before the night out.

The errors gradually faded over the day. However, a higher rate of errors still was observed among those who had been drinking--even by 4 p.m. During that time, though, only one of the surgeons had detectable blood alcohol levels.

While the study was too small to allow the researchers to say how long the surgeons should abstain from drinking before performing surgery, they suggested that, "given the considerable cognitive, perceptual, visuospatial, and psychomotor challenges posed by modern image-guided surgical techniques," abstaining from alcohol the night before operating may be a "sensible consideration for practicing surgeons."

For more information:
- see the
Archives of Surgery abstract
- read the
Los Angeles Times article
- read the
MedPage Today article

Thank You Ms Simmons

Now, ..... let's get Clear on what's actually going on, Shall We?

These Drunken Doctors are - according to their Own APA - Incurably 'Mentally Ill' and under the current paradigm unfit to be practicing Anything other than the Simpson's theme on a Kazoo, much Less remaining un-arrested for negligent homicide, ...... considering the level of Trust they expect from their clients.

What happens to an airline pilot who goes to work drunk or hung over? Oh, that's right; there aren't as Many airline pilots as there are surgeons, and They don't have a Trade Association with the Clout that the AMA has.

According to the American Psychiatric Association getting drunk is an 'Incurable Mental Illness' which requires the intoxicant be defrauded into a chemical lobotomy and State Police Registration (in California) because the caring those 'caregivers' with their infallible diagnostic infallibility inflict, has been the "primary suspect drug" causing violent homicides.

But you see, Physicians and Medical students are All Immune from those sorts of issues, because They are All Above The Law.

Newsweek (2008) has:
When Doctors Kill Themselves.
"So why aren't depressed docs seeking treatment for a common illness that millions of Americans have learned to manage with therapy and readily available medications? Because they worry—not without reason—that if they admit to a mental-health problem they could lose respect, referrals, income and even their licenses." .....
"One way to address physician suicide, says Reynolds, is to focus on medical students and residents, since depression often starts in young adulthood. Medical schools across the country have launched programs that, among other things, guarantee students who seek help that it will not appear on their records. , .....

....., "If we teach doctors to recognize depression in themselves," says Dr. Paula Clayton, the foundation's medical director, "they will recognize it in their patients." And then everybody will feel better."
So, it's Ok to be a Drunk, if you're a Physician because as Ms Simmons article points out, it's actually quite common, ...... or a Fireman, ...... so long as you have a Trade Association/Public Employees Union Protecting you.

Diagnostic criteria for 303.00 Alcohol Intoxication
A. Recent ingestion of alcohol.
B. Clinically significant maladaptive behavioral or psychological changes (e.g., inappropriate sexual or aggressive behavior, mood lability, impaired judgment, impaired social or occupational functioning) that developed during, or shortly after, alcohol ingestion.
C. One (or more) of the following signs, developing during, or shortly after, alcohol use:
(1) slurred speech
(2) incoordination
(3) unsteady gait
(4) nystagmus
(5) impairment in attention or memory
(6) stupor or coma
D. The symptoms are not due to a general medical condition and are not better accounted for by anothermental disorder.

But don't you worry about it. No Siree Bob, because the situation is being handled, by Professionals.

(Ed: Sorry that post's 1st direct link went away, ..... just like the one to SF RAMS Performance Audit Memo, ..... but, .......

Anderson Cooper 360 Still has it - from 2008 - for you.

"In California, the state Medical Board is planning to shut down the program as of July because it’s decided it “failed” to protect patients. Five audits of the program since 1982 found all kinds of failures. Even the drug testing of doctors wasn’t random. One auditor told me the doctors could anticipate on which days they’d be drug tested.

Still, even after all the patients who say they were disfigured as a result of this program, one powerful state agency, the California Medical Association, is fighting to keep the program running, and keep the names of doctors enrolled confidential. The association’s President, Joe Dunn, told me, “we believe very strongly this is the absolute best way to insure patient safety. We need to get physicians out of the shadows.”
Dunn believes if the program is shut down in July, doctors will still continue to feed their addiction “privately” and not get help. He argues, “Without a diversion program, no one knows. Patients don't know. Health professionals who could help don't know.”

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