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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Stop The Presses, We've Found Rush Limbaugh's Doctor

Dr. Kirk James Murphy, from the comments:

Hi folks -

This stinks to high heaven - even in Texas.

Q: What variable determines survival after severe gunshot wounds to the head, neck, and torso?

A: How long it takes the trauma victim to receive trauma center care (or the equivalent).

The White House docs, of all people, know this. So does the Secret Service - when Reagan was shot in D.C., there were published reports of the SS cleaning out the civvies waiting in ER at gunpoint. They knew how to cut down on the wait - and they knew why.

I have every reason to believe the White House docs in Cheney's traveling ICU have excellent trauma medicine skills.

So I have all the more reason to ask what they were thinking of when they decided that the 78 year old victim of severe gunshot wounds needed the slow ambulance ride to the local non-trauma hospital - rather than the fast chopper ride to the trauma center?

If the White House docs and the Secret Service can't collectively figure out that trauma victims' chance of survival declines with each minute of delay in securing care, why are they being paid to protect assassination targets? Who hired these guys?
At the smaller hospital there would be fewer prying eyes- and it's possible some of em knew a doc there who could be counted on. Once they went to the big hospital- the chances of keeping it covered up evaporated.
Dr. Murphy again:
The same White House docs who turned down the helicopter medevac to the trauma center in order to send their elderly trauma victim by vehicle to the non-trauma hospital -

Those folks?

Earlier in the week Whittington's hospital said they were involved in his care when he developed cardiac complications.

Then Whittington's hospital changed the story to say they needed to consult with the doctors who had first treated the patient, hence the need to involve the White House docs in the care of the victim their boss shot some days before.

The chronology in the Corpus Cristi Times establishes:

The ambulance arrived at the Kingsville hospital between 6:45 and 6:50 p.m., Christus Spohn spokeswoman Yvonne Wheeler said.

HALO-Flight was called again at 7:07 p.m. after Spohn Kleberg medical personnel decided Whittington needed more advanced treatment.

OK - Whittington rolls in the non-trauma center's ER at Kingsberg and within seventeen to twenty-two minutes later the ER is calling the medivac flight - the same service the Secret Service first notified at around 6 PM. The ambulance left Kingsberg at 7:19 PM and arrived at [Memorial] fifty minutes later. the same docs who were with the victim from 5:30 (or 5:50 - choose your eyewitness account) could have summoned the air ambulance at any time thereafter.

Yet it was the docs in Kingsberg who reached the astonishing conclusion that this 78 year-old victim of severe gunshot wounds required air transport to a trauma center - a conclusion which escaped the medical team caring for the patient over the preceding sixty to ninety minutes.

So we are asked to believe that when Mr Whittington's condition worsened, the docs at the trauma center required consultation with the same team who never figured out their patient required the trauma center...until they got to a hospital and some other doctor told them?

And here's the kicker, found by CityGirl. Who's taking care of Whittington now?
Recently, the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners took the following action:

David E. Blanchard, D.O., a 49 year-old physician currently practicing in Victoria, Texas was charged by the Board with inappropriately prescribing excessive controlled substances to numerous patients. A hearing in this matter is set for September 13, 2000.
If that were my father I'd get him the hell away from these people. Post haste. They obviously have the same talent for healthcare that they do for international relations.

(thanks to pollyusa for the link to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times)