Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Real Emergency Medicine

I think that practicing 'Real Emergency Medicine' might only be possible in a war zone. Obviously there's the trauma.... then there's the weird regionally specific diseases.... malaria.... and all manner of infectious diseases we just don't see here anymore. Hopefully there won't be much toxicology, but who knows? Here's a great new blog from a fine ER doc who is deployed to Afghanistan right now.I hope you will check out his blog and thank him for his service.


  1. I love Vik. I will be taking over for him in the suck in a couple of short months. Wish I could say I was looking forward to it, but 6 months is about 3 too long. Steve

  2. Steve,
    Thanks for your comment. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, a bit about Vik, and in one sentence (and one only) tell us the major difference between practicing EM in a civilian trauma centre and practicing EM at " the suk"... Hell, take 2 sentences.

  3. Steve,
    as a grizzled Vet with some 95 hrs of actual combat experience in the first Gulf War, you have my utmost sympathy, I mean r-e-s-p-e-c-t, and we'll be standing behind you the whole way...
    TBS, I'd skip the "Pre-Deployment briefings", especially if there's any creepy Army Psychiatrists sneekin around the metal detectors, Nome Sane? There just a waste anyway.
    Pre-deployment Briefings, I mean, not Psychiatrists.
    Psychiatrists are more like that scum that makes a ring in your toilet when you've been deployed for 10 months.
    And the First Gulf War was the best, cause we beat feet outta there before the Ragheads realized they could kill more of us with boobytraps than guns.
    And yeah, we didn't have computers, or IPODs, or a-holes takin cell-phone-photos when you made an Iraqui Colonel play Russian Roulette "Deer Hunter" style...
    And you can't even really play Russian Roulette with a semi-automatic, things were tough I'm tellin ya.
    Seriously, keep your powder down, and your head dry, and don't worry about Jody screwing your wife.
    Semper Fi,

    P.S. 9-11, Civillian ERs get more Gunshots/Stab wounds.


  4. For me, I'm a 36 year old married father of two, stationed in England currently. This will be deployment #2 for me, the last one to Balad, Iraq in 2009.
    Vik is one of the smartest guys I know, 'nuff said. And he has great latte colored skin :-).
    My 2 (maybe more) sentences on the difference between civilian and downrange trauma care:
    1. Everybody gives a shit, and everybody cries when we lose a patient.
    2. More missing body parts.
    3. Never felt like my patient "sort of deserved it".
    4.In addition to the handcuffs we are all used to seeing patients in, we also occasionally see a patient in cuffs AND a blindfold.
    5. WAY fewer pelvic exams! YAY!
    6. Most of the time we spend at least a few hours of our rare "days off" in the hospital. Our only other option is the 8x10 plywood box we live in.
    7.We still worry about some of our patients trying to kill us. With bombs.
    8. We also worry about a mortar or a rocket falling from the sky to thank us for our trouble while we work (and play).
    9. Many fewer people looking for days off work than when stateside. What else are they gonna do?
    10. When you can get it, fresh, warm, whole blood works GREAT!

    Sorry- I get carried away!