Tuesday, June 2, 2009

28 Days to Go

Now that I have made it to June, I am finally allowing myself to begin an official countdown to the end of this year. Unlike many of my friends, I do not get a week off at the end of "intern" year and will just roll from one service to the next to un-ceremoniously start my 2nd year.

Currently, I am doling out blood products for patients. Blood Banking is its own field within pathology and it is pretty complex. It goes way beyond ABO and criteria cut-offs for issuing products. There is a ton of medicine here, more than I have done most of the year. Some of the more difficult cases are actually fairly interesting. Most of my day is spent writing up transfusion reactions. Blood products are not benign and in some cases we all need to be sure that we have a good reason for giving products and are not just treating a number. Luckily, most of the reactions are the garden-variety allergic reactions which are unpleasant for the patient but not life-threatening. Then there are the badder actor--hemolytic reactions, TRALI, TACO. They do happen.

In other news, it looks like health care reford is coming to center stage in Washington. If you are interested in health policy, check out this piece by Atul Gawande.


Resident Anesthesiologist Guy (RAG) said...

I did a heme "tour" over a few days earlier this year. One of the things that struck me and has stuck with me whenever I've ordered blood, is that transfusion is akin to transplantation. It's not benign in any sense. I always recall that and have been slower to order pRBCs on some patients - even if being told by a superior.

Myself, I'm finished with intern year. We started our CA-1 year early with all the anesthesia interns coming together in the ORs in June instead of July as many other programs do. Hurrah!

The Lone Coyote said...

Congrats on being done with intern year! It must be nice to finally be doing what you want to be doing. I'm glad they gave you that exposure to blood products. It's something that I think everyone should learn more about in their training.