Tuesday, November 21, 2006

FCM and Cardiovascular Homeostasis Seminar

I got to school early today to get my blood drawn so that my cholesterol levels could be measured for one of our seminars for next week. It wasn't too bad, except that I had to do it fasting, and it's not much fun to skip breakfast. I did have time to eat a quick breakfast before class started though.

Today's FCM session wasn't too bad. The presenter tried to make it interactive, and we actually had some time in our small groups to discuss the case that he had presented to us. It was about a school bus driver who had gotten hit by a train because she stopped the bus with the rear end reaching over the tracks. What does this have to do with medicine, you ask? Well, the focus of the seminar was about how to decrease medical errors and increase patient safety. Obviously this wasn't a medical case, but the same issues still apply: how could this accident have been prevented? It's not as simple as just firing the bus driver for being "careless." There are a lot of little things that each in and of themselves do not lead to accidents, but all of those little things in combination make accidents more likely to occur. The readings that we did focused on the airline industry, which, along with the nuclear industry, is one of the safest ones out there. Medicine has a much higher error rate. Within medicine, the best specialty in terms of avoiding preventable errors is anesthesiology.

The seminar was pretty good too. Basically, we went through how various cardiovascular and respiratory functions change in response to changes in demand. So, for example, if you're sitting on a couch and then you get up to go for a run, your heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen usage, etc. are all going to increase. We also discussed which types of fuel (ex. fatty acids versus sugars) were used for energy during different levels of activity.

I was supposed to have clinic this afternoon, but I didn't because my preceptor went out of town. I'll be making it up next Tuesday instead. That's going to make next week a monster week for me. I did stop by the anatomy lab briefly to review the prosections from yesterday. They had only taken out one cadaver, and we didn't have a list of structures we were supposed to identify. So one of my classmates and I got a copy of the anatomy book and went through them on our own quickly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Atul Gawande has written extensively on the subject of medical errors.