Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Watch out!

Over the course of the past eleven months I have composed a new list of dangers. This list goes beyond the normal one I present to the residents when trying to raise their awareness of the likelihood of complications such as a shoulder dystocia or post partum hemorrhage. These dangers are more common on certain days.

Rainy days would be one type of day for which I have gained a new appreciation. I will almost always end up seeing at least one pregnant woman who has been injured in a motor vehicle collision. And I will never forget the woman brought in at term, a full code in progress. Neither she nor her baby survived despite the emergency Cesarean section in the emergency room.

Having treated a severely hypothermic expectant mother, I am more aware of cold days but carbon monoxide poisoning was not on my radar until recently. After a bout of extremely cold weather combined with prolonged power outages, a pregnant woman arrived with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. I am happy to report that she and her fetus both did well after a trip to the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Holidays are also a time I worry. As I have tried to explain to my teenagers, even though you aren't the one drinking, if you are out and someone is drinking and driving, you may end up being casualty of their short sightedness. Stay off the roads, especially when it gets late, is my advice. I have seen too many victims.

Imagine my surprise when I walk in to the labor board check out at 7 AM to find someone already wearing Mardi Gras beads. Today is one of those days where I will worry a little more than usual about what might show up in the emergency room. I hope I am wrong. I hope everyone stays home to finish up that last piece of chocholate cake.
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