If you walk through the unmarked hallways in the historic Bulfinch Building within Massachusetts General Hospital you might stumble upon the Ether Dome. This room served as the operating room 1821 through 1867. In 1846 the first public demonstration of the use of inhaled ether as a surgical anesthetic was performed here.
It was a miraculous moment entering a new world without surgical pain. One can still feel the intensity within those walls of the amphitheater; conjuring up the images and sounds of patients prior to anesthesia – enduring amputations and other procedures while fully conscious.
During the Summer of Fear in 1945 Rockford, Illinois suffered the highest number of casualties amidst the great polio epidemic. In a four month period, 382 patients were treated in Winnebago County, 36 died, most of them children. Children were isolated and not allowed to swim or play. Schools were closed, Iron Lung machines were brought in and planes flew over Rockford, spraying the city with the insecticide DDT in an attempt to wipe out the polio “bug.” No one really knew how to prevent or cure polio, or what caused it.
It was later discovered that polio is caused by a contagious virus that spreads by direct contact with contaminated saliva or feces. The disease has essentially been eradicated in the United States since a childhood vaccine was introduced in 1955 by Dr. Jonas Salk and perfected in 1961 by Dr. Albert Sabin.
What are today’s medical breakthroughs? Who can be spared from the current threats to healthcare issues? Could it be the threat within our own hospitals, clinics, Long Term Care Facilities and Out Patient Surgical Centers in the form of Hospital Acquired Infections? It is time we implement available technology to address a devastation that is preventable. By developing and utilizing products that can reduce or eradicate the transmission of infectious organisms within the healthcare setting we are on the verge of such a breakthrough. The technology is within our grasp. The remaining challenge is to change our processes and our cultural ideas of what is acceptable.
On March 14, 2012 Experts from the National Patient Safety Foundation addressed a group of Hospital Executives. The group was focused on the relationship between quality outcomes and operating an efficient facility.
During an address to the forum, John Nance, a founding member of the National Patient Safety Foundation, “encouraged hospital leaders to avoid what he considered the “most dangerous phrase in health care” — “that’s the way we’ve always done this.”
Even though we can be ‘asleep’ when our surgeries are being performed with excellent professionals and protected airways…are we safe?
One day we will look back at the rate of Hospital Acquired Infections we experience today and wonder why we ‘sprayed the OR’ with chemicals that do not kill certain pathogens and the over use of antibiotics which have a direct correlation to the rise in Multi Drug Resistant Pathogens…only time will tell how our future will be written. Anti-microbial Stewardship, new products to eliminate the threat of danger from HAI’s? What new discoveries will we make?
Visit our website at midbrookmedical.com Take a glimpse into products available “Today”… Please do your part to help bring these technologies into the norm and, in doing so, create a new chapter in the reality of safe medical care.