June 30, 2016

Guidelines on How to Treat Young Patients

This really surprised me and I had to call friends living in Maryland and asked them about this. One of my friends called me back and said he had asked a neighbor who had a 16-year old son in Johns Hopkins and had given him a printout of the article. The neighbor was happy to have the information and said this isn't being practiced as the doctor had the parents leave the room and then he talked to them about their son's condition.

When they went back into the son's room, the doctor did not wash his hands or sanitize the instruments he used. The father said his wife asked the doctor why he was not using sterile instruments and washing his hands or wearing latex gloves when examining the burns on their son. That father told my friend that the doctor just ignored her question and his wife whispered to him that she was going to find someone in charge.

When she came back, the doctor had moved on and she said she had asked for the doctor to be removed from their son's care and replaced with a doctor that would:
  • Wash his hands
  • Use sterile instruments
  • Talk with their son and not ignore him
  • Communicate like you care
This is only a few items off both lists and sterile instruments wasn't even on either list. My friend said her wish had been granted and another doctor was assigned to their son. The mother was happy even though he didn't wash his hands, but put on latex gloves as soon as he entered the room. Both the father and mother expressed that the doctor had examined his burns and then he talked with all three and said that they should be able to start work on the burns the following week and would possibly need to do some skin grafts. When the doctor saw some concern on the parent's faces, he said they will start with plastic surgery and the skin grafts would only be the last resort if needed.

The next day he had some skin graft pictures to show them and they could hardly recognize that they were skin grafts. The son said they don't look that bad and he had looked up plastic surgery and skin grafts the prior evening and felt that he should have whatever the doctor's felt was best. The doctor asked the parents and they said okay. He said on following Tuesday, the plastic surgeon would be in to look at the burns and if he was satisfied, he would set the date to start.

With that, the parents said they would be available and ready to support whatever the decision became. The son told his parents to go home and rest and he was going to do the same in the hospital. The doctor said he would be in on Monday to reinspect the burns and the nurses would be changing the dressing on a daily basis.

This is the last of the three part series.

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