Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pet peeve

There is one thing that I see more and more often that is really bugging me. The confusion of "your" and "you're"

"Your" is the possessive case of the word YOU: "Is that your car?"

"You're" is the contraction of the word "you are": "You're driving me to the store in your car."

Please do not confuse the two, it makes you look stupid.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is what happens- Is safety worth it?

Every time I get into or read a discussion on gun control, someone always trots out the old argument about how the UK has restrictive gun laws, and they have less crime as a result. The Wikipedia article points out that firearms crime is rare in the UK, but leaves out the fact that UK crime rates are on the rise. In fact, you are six times more likely to be mugged in London than you are in New York City. Violent crime in the UK jumped by two-thirds between 1998 and 2003. Crime is higher in the UK than the U.S. in every category except rape and murder. UK householders who injure a home invader are often hauled up on charges. A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.

People who oppose gun laws here in the US point out that the Second Amendment is there to prevent the Government from becoming tyrannical, and safeguards liberty. Countries which ban their citizens from owning the means to resist government force always degrade into dictatorship and tyranny. The UK is no exception. As I have said in the past, the UK began allowing private contractors to enter private homes to enforce the repayment of debts, and this latest scheme is horrific, but par for the gun banning course.

The UK has begin placing closed circuit video cameras into private homes to ensure that the occupants are not breaking the law. So far 2,000 homes have had cameras put in place, with another 20,000 on the to do list. Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction. Children's Secretary Ed Balls said: “This is pretty tough and non-negotiable support for families to get to the root of the problem. There should be Family Intervention Projects in every local authority area because every area has families that need support.” (Now that takes Balls)

It looks like Orwel was accurate in the details, but was just off by a few years on the date.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Will Obamacare cover elective procedures?

In a news article this morning, it is announced that the Obamacare plan will pay for elective abortions, meaning abortions that are not performed for medical reasons, or in the case of rape and incest. My problem with this is not abortion per se, but that private funds are being used to pay for the health benefits of others, and I have a problem with all welfare programs for the same reason.

The question that comes to mind here is what other elective procedures will be covered? Vasectomies? Sex changes? Face lifts? Will we be buying women bigger tits? As much as I enjoy looking at women's tits, it is not my respnsibility to buy them for other people.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Show me the money

Public officials keep telling us that traffic cameras are all about making our streets safer, not about generating revenue. To take a look at this, lets see the story in today's Columbus Dispatch that talks about the camera system in Heath, OH.

Officials in Heath installed2 cameras to watch for excessive speed on Route 79, an area that has seen one crash in the last two years that was caused by excessive speed. Those two cameras alone accounted for 5,000 traffic citations in just 4 weeks.

Ten more cameras were installed to watch intersections in town and look for red light runners, accounting for 5,000 more tickets in the last month. At those intersections, light runners were responsible for 16 traffic accidents over a two year period.

In all, the traffic tickets will cost the drivers in the area more than $1,000,000 in fines, of which the city will keep $830,000. In one month. Extrapolate that out to a two year period, and taxpayers will pay over $24 million in traffic fines, which even if the fines eliminate all speed and light runner accidents, will only eliminate 17 traffic accidents over that same two year period.

The fact that the city budget will reap $20 million dollars over that same 20 year period, in a city with an annual operating budget of less than $7 million per year, and you can quickly see that this is about money, not safety.


The good news is that, according to the current talking heads, the recession has bottomed, and we are on our way to recovery. Even the President says so.

Of course, they said that in December, after the bailout, with this expert calling for a March bottom.

WSJ called it months ago. The British Chamber of Commerce called it in July. In fact, we have been told we were nearing the bottom nearly every week since this all began.

Have we hit the bottom? Who knows? After all, the GDP still dropped by 1%. Dropping is still dropping, and it seems to me that you cannot be at the bottom when you are still dropping. For quite awhile when all of this started, we were told that we weren't in an official recession until the economy contracted for two consecutive quarters, even though we all knew the economy was in the toilet.

Sooner or later, the economy will rebound, and the talking heads will all try to point out to us that they were the ones who called it, and politicians will all credit themselves with ending it, when in reality the economy just ran its own course.

The rest is spin.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More half assed lazy medics

We have had a rash (again) of paramedics who are too lazy or too stupid to do what they are supposed to do, and instead have decided to take the easy way out. Lets review a few of the incidents: (names changed to protect my job)

Paramedic George ran to a cardiologist's office, where a male patient was complaining of palpitations. The first arriving crew had a paramedic on board, who placed the patient on a monitor and noted that the patient was in SVT with a rate of 180. He started an IV and turned the patient over to George. George stated that he did not treat the patient for SVT because "the hospital was just a few blocks away."

Just a week later, George was ordered by medical control to give a patient 5mg of versed followed by 5mg more as needed to facilitate intubation after the patient had shot himself in the face with a 9mm handgun. He asked an EMT to draw up the medication. The EMT drew up the wrong medication (he mistakenly drew up diazepam instead of midazolam) and medic George said although he knew the drug was incorrect, he assumed that the order had been changed without his knowledge, and pushed it anyhow. When he did so, he noted that his IV had infiltrated, so he pushed THE SAME WRONG DRUG A SECOND TIME, thus giving the patient 20mg of valium instead of 10mg of versed. George and the medic assisting him were unable to secure an airway, and the patient died.

There was Paramedic Bill, who transported a code to the hospital with only CPR in progress (no line, no tube, no monitor, no drugs) because the "hospital was only 5 minutes away, and ACLS takes too long, we could be there by then."

Then there is the prize: Paramedic Christie (who unbelievably has a second job as an ER nurse- an RN) transported an off duty coworker, who is another paramedic. The coworker was complaining of shortness of breath and was in SVT at a rate of 165. No 12 lead, no line. When the medic working with her (a new medic) wanted to give the adenosine and run a 12 lead, Christie ordered him not to. At the hospital, they gave the patient 6mg of adenosine and she immediately converted.

Two weeks later, my mother got a scary call at home- she had gotten a head CT earlier in the day for a minor eye problem, and they called her back at 9pm to tell her that the CT had found a large aneurysm in her brain (the Circle of Willis). My mother's physician needed her to go to the big hospital some 30 miles from here, as they were the only area hospital equipped and staffed for that sort of surgery, even though there were 4 hospitals that were closer. He told me that the eye problem had just saved her life, and that I should have her transported by ambulance immediately. My mother called me and asked me to come get her. So what did I do? I brought my mother into the station and explained the situation to them.

Before even assessing my mother (who was still in the car- it was raining) Paramedic Christie said "I am not driving there this time of night. I will take her to the closest hospital, and that is it." We argued. She refused. I did everything that I could to get my mother the patient care she deserved, but I was told by the supervisor that since I was off duty, I could not interfere. We called higher supervisors, the medic still refused to take my mother where she needed to go, stating to the supervisor that my mother was too unstable to make the 30 minute trip- Even though at no time did this "medic" assess or even speak to my mother- her patient. I finally told my mother to sign a refusal, and that I would take her in my car.

The other paramedic (we will call him Bruce) in the station (who was assigned to a different truck) finally at this point offered to switch places with Christie, and he took my mother to the hospital. He attempted an IV, but missed. I offered to start one, but Bruce threw me out of the truck, pointing out that I was off duty. How long did all of this take? My mother sat in the back of that ambulance for 52 minutes. no assessment was done by the attending medic. No IV attempt until 45 minutes after patient contact, and that IV was missed. Through all of this, they said she was too unstable to go on a 30 minute ride to the appropriate hospital, but she apparently was stable enough to sit in the driveway of the station for an hour.

During my next shift, I was telling my partner about what happened, when Bruce overheard. That began a yelling match, in which he told me to shut up and stop bad mouthing his partner, or he would have me reported for violating policy (as no employee is permitted to talk badly of another, per our rules) He then called me a fat useless bigmouth, and told me to stay away from him, or he would kick my ass. Then he said that I should mind my own business, stop badmouthing his partner, and go eat some more twinkies.

This is not the sort of professionalism that I would expect from any medical provider towards anyone, much less a medic treating a coworker's family. I have reported the incident to higher authority to see what will come of this, and I am waiting.

My mother's aneurysm has turned out to be inoperable, and we have more doctors to talk to in the coming days.