Saturday, 18 October 2014

Ebolaphobia

The reaction of western politicians to the ebola outbreak is little short of criminally irresponsible. Cameron, Obama, and Kerry have all been whipping up public fear & anxiety recently with pronouncements that can only exacerbate matters. The disease has been compared to smallpox, and HIV and dire predictions made about potential numbers of cases, and horrific predictions about numbers of deaths. You'd think wouldn't you that they'd take 5 minutes to educate themselves about the condition before shooting off their big ignorant mouths.

Lets put things into perspective. Firstly Ebola is not remotely comparable to smallpox, for the simple reason that it's not spread through the air. The recent case where an infected person traveled by air has resulted in a massive exercise in contact tracing, but in reality the only passenger at significant risk of contracting Ebola would be the person sat next to her infected. The rest have about as much chance of catching it as if it were Hep B we were talking about. They'd need to actually come into contact with secretions.

And it's not remotely comparable to HIV either. HIV is asymptomatic for months or years before becoming apparent, and infected individuals live for years. They represent a large pool of people who can pass on the infection. With Ebola you're only able to infect others for a very short window of time, about three weeks, and then you either recover or die.

And with the best that western medical care has to offer mortality can be as low as 20%.

So medieviel scenarios of plague are not realistic. Not remotely


And our politicians should be reassuring us of that rather than needlessly inflaming the situation. Twats!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Space exploration.


First woman on the Moon:
"Houston, we have a problem."
What?
"Never mind"
What's the problem?
"Nothing"
Please tell us?
"You know what the problem is."

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Ultra ketone/ketone slim XT scam

Another scam promising that your excess weight will evaporate away if you take these magic tablets. I'm not going to link to the site. But this is what they claim their pills will achieve. How can people be so gullible?

 Same tired old stuff, raspberry ketone, and a laxative. Same old tricks laid bare in the terms & conditions. If you don't cancel your subscription pretty much immediately you will be charged £95 for what they told you was a "free" sample. And once in you're in. "Customers enrolled for a Subscription will automatically receive a 30 day supply of the Product approximately every 30 days, without any further action on your part. As consideration for each 30 day supply, we will charge your credit/debit card the retail purchase price amount of £99.95"
If you really want to try this stuff you can get it on line for less than £4 for a month's supply. So save yourself  £95 a month. Better still save yourself £99 and don't buy it at all. It's worthless ineffective crap.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Today

I couldn't not comment on today's strike. I've seen this situation arise before, where long suffering staff have been provoked beyond endurance, and when they finally react the powers that be hide behind the patients, bleating about how the strikers are causing suffering to the sick. It makes my blood boil. A health professionals ultimate obligation is to fulfill the terms of their contract, no more, no less and the ultimate responsibility for caring for patients lies with the Health Minister. The fact that people work in the health sector does not carry any obligation to work extra hours for nothing, or to carry on working when their employers shit on them. To try & morally blackmail people into accepting a wholly unacceptable situation, so that you can carry on turning the screw is cowardly and repugnant.
I remember full well when the nursing and other professions accepted review bodies as pay arbitrators. We in medicine had had one for years and it was obvious that nurses leaders hadn't bothered to look and see how it worked in our case. The body simply was a puppet of government, usually awarding the government diktat, and totally ignoring the case for the profession. I remember at the time thinking it would all end in tears.
And how. This years recommendation of 1% would have been a slap in the face even if it were paid, after the last few years of frozen pay. But what did they (and we) get? "You're not getting it if you're not at the top of your incremental scale!!!!!!!!". WTF? Incremental scales are in my view wrong in themselves. I remember when I started as a consultant, many years ago. I did exactly the same job as my older colleagues, and took on exactly the same level of responsibility, and yet I got paid less, purely on the basis of my age. Can you imagine if they tried to introduce differential pay on the basis of sex or race? Perhaps I should shut up, I dont want to give them ideas. New consultants may lack experience, but they more than make up for it in the up to date and modern practices they bring, and the concept of increments is nothing more or less than blatant age discrimination. At least in my day it only took eight years to reach the top of the scale. In yet another underhand disguised pay cut it now takes over 20. So now you don't get a pay rise because you are already a victim of institutionalised agism. Only the best paid in each profession will get anything.
And that twat Hunt bleats about how many fewer nurses there will be if the pay rise is awarded, because they can't be afforded. Well how many fewer nurses will we have when large numbers get to feel that they are undervalued to the point of contempt, and decide to just fuck off? When the public realise how badly health staff are treated how many younger people will review their decision to go into health in the first place?
I've seen a lot of governments, a lot of prime ministers, and a lot of health ministers in my time. When it comes to the provision of health services they were all shocking. But this lot are the worst by an order of magnitude. They're indifferent, uncaring, cynical, manipulative, dishonest, lying, cheating, self serving, smug and pompous. What a bunch of vile loathsome fuckers.
Our own "union" the BMA of course are not doing anything to protest doctors' pay, that would be too much to hope for. The only thing they've ever resisted was the threat to higher awards. Why do people remain members?
Striking staff deserve our fullest support. Unison and the other organisations involved are to be commended at last for digging in their heels. If they hadn't done it now, they'd have had to do it next year. By which time they might well have private sector employers. Which is perhaps why their pay is being squeezed in the first place.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Lazy sick bastards


The NHS can be a pretty inconsistent employer. We are repeatedly told that we should not come to work if we are suffering from infectious diseases, from flu to diarhoea. And yet if you actually take more than 4 minutes off sick over 20 years you have some fucking tyrant summoning you to his office telling you you're not pulling your weight and will be watched from here on in.

Lets face it , if you're ill, you're ill, and you shouldn't be at work. Being treated as if you're some sort of idle skiver (or if you're Welsh, "skifor") for taking time off sick is just not right. On your return you will be taken to one side and "counselled" (translated "threatened") with the consequences of daring to take sick leave again. Pointing out that sick leave is a statutory right is likely to get you labelled a troublemaker and not struggling in to work when you have ebola will be considered a sign of lack of dedication.

Another way of looking at it;

A Post Office employee in Bournemouth is retiring after 41 years without using any of her sick days.

Friends describe her as "dedicated".

Co-workers remember her as, "That cow who kept giving me the flu."

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Death


 DZ is used to reading crap reports on medical matters in the newspapers. Sometimes the problem is that a perfectly reasonable piece of research is taken by the newspaper editor and mangled to the point where the conclusions are completely misrepresented, in the interests of making a more newsworthy article. Sometimes however the original research itself is clearly just bollocks.

Like this one

The fundamental and primary error here seems to be at what stage people are declared clinically dead. The investigators seem to be of the view that you declare someone dead, and then commence resuscitation. No you fucking don't! Cardiac arrest does not equate to death. Death is what's declared when resus has failed and you've all given up. The entire paper is based on the accounts of people who were successfully resuscitated, ie NOT DEAD. At all, even a little bit. Strewth, these guys apparently spent four years gathering data about after death experiences from live people. By definition live people are not dead, and never have been.


The only thing they have proved is that people who are brain dead can become university professors in spite of it.




Monday, 15 September 2014

General Practice

"Doctor, I've got premature ejaculation"

"Well don't come in here!"