Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, May 21, 2007


As I have said many times, do your very best to stay out of hospitals. They are extremely dangerous places, for a number of reasons -- e.g., as in my case, they might suddenly decide to cut you open and remove some part you would prefer to keep -- but most important, they are full of extremely vicious, hard to kill microorganisms, and also full of people who are debilitated, and who have extra holes in them with tubes going into the holes, into and out of which the bugs merrily stream.

Atul Gawande has just about given up on infection control. He doesn't spell it out, but I conclude from his disturbingly honest essay that it is essentially impossible with current technology and procedures. We need fundamentally different ways of going about hospital care -- including, I would say, doing less of it -- if we are to solve this problem. And it's a moving target -- the bugs just keep evolving, getting nastier and harder to kill, and they are moving from the hospitals into the community. Who knows how bad this could get?

(Tip o' the hat to Dr. Rick.)

No comments: