This weekend seems to have been all about finding sites that are going to manage to make it onto my daily read list. The latest entry: designweenie, which seems to combine randomness and geekiness as much as I do. Have a read; I’ve found it as satisfying as a cold front in August.

Thanks go out to Dr. Herschel Lessin for his good article on pediatric health-related old wives’ tales. The prevalence of beliefs like these in my patient population is pretty high; the first time I had a mother bring her child into the ER with tomato sauce smeared all over a burn, I almost seized trying to hold in my giggles.

My heartfelt congratulations to Derek, who has finished his book on designing community spaces on the Internet. The proud papa of three community sites — {fray}, City Stories, and Kvetch — Derek knows of which he speaks. I’m anxious to get my copy of the book.

And speaking of community, I’m thinking of converting Q over to use the News Items feature of Manila; it would allow every entry to generate its own independent discussion, which may encourage people to contribute their thoughts whenever I start talking out of my ass. There are things about the feature that I don’t like, but I think that I can work around them to make it what I want it to be. (Obviously, if you have any opinions on the matter, please feel free to share them with me.)


Today, I received an email response to my posting about the septic child who died in the ICU, and it made me think a lot. The email was both an expression of fear — what if that were my kid? — and a question — what can I do if that’s my kid? The question is a tough one to answer, mainly because I really do feel that it’s a rare event when a medical or surgical team isn’t completely on top of a child who’s getting sicker. But if it’s your child and you feel it is happening, then become the strongest advocate your child has ever had. Tell the nurse and the doctor; tell them until they do something to satisfy you, whether it’s explaining how things are under control, or doing something to get the situation under control. Listen to the explanations offered to you, accept those which make sense, and question those that don’t. Put your fears about being labeled a difficult parent behind you, and advocate for your child’s health.

Unfortunately, though, just because something bad happens in a hospital doesn’t mean that something could be done to prevent it. Part of my training as a pediatrician has been to understand that there are times when we can’t catch up to the damage being done by an illness. In the case of the little boy, there is a very good chance that this was the case. Sepsis is a terrible thing, and there are good reasons to believe that he was in the progressive stages of sepsis even at the moment that eyes were first laid on him in the emergency room. I know that that’s an empty concept to parents who have lost their child; one of my strongest motivations as a doctor is to help figure out what we can do to prevent them from ever having to face it.


designweenie, which seems to combine randomness and geekiness as much as I do

Yes, but your randomness is far more interesting than mine. :)

• Posted by: James Spahr on Aug 12, 2001, 12:22 PM
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