Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Can you say Intrathecal?

Today I provided sedation for an unfortunate baby girl 8 months old with leukemia who needed both an intrathecal injection of methotrexate, a chemotherapeutic drug, and a bone marrow biopsy. Just before I arrived in the hematoncology ward there was an air raid siren. We entered the bomb shelter and waited it out. We counted the explosions...one...two...three...after about 12 we lost count. Later on the news channel reported that there were 20 missiles fired at Be'er Sheva at once. Three got through the iron dome and landed in the city. Thank God no one was injured.
What made this child noteworthy, is that she is from Gaza. Actually, it's quite common. We treat many patients from Gaza. Even during times like these when we are being attacked from Gaza.
I asked my pediatric hematoncologist colleague if there are any specialists in Gaza. She answered that there is one in all of Gaza. He has the knowledge and experience to treat these children. The problem lies elsewhere. They don't have the special drugs needed to treat children with cancer. Apparently, for the Hamas terrorist government, money is better spent on missiles, mortars, rockets and other weapons of terror.
So, all the children in Gaza with cancer, all of them, are treated in Israel.
Even at times like these.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bellboy

In a flash of comic genius, Jerry Lewis produced, wrote, directed and acted in a movie called "The Bellboy". Lewis plays, of course, a hapless bellboy who is sent on all manner of errand which all end up terribly bumbled. It is not a silent movie, but Lewis is silent throughout. That is, until the final scene, when the hotel manager asks him why he has never spoken:

So I haven't posted these many months, not because I had nothing to say, but because no one asked. But now, in light of the events in my country, I received a comment from one of the few readers that haven't forgotten me. And I am unable to remain silent, now that someone asked.
Seaspray wrote the following comment completely off topic to last post that appeared:
"...I just want you to know that I've been thinking about you and all of Israel. My heart breaks for you and I continually pray for your safety."
So to Seaspray and anyone else who share these sentiments: Thank you. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.
The situation here can be described as ranging from not so bad to catastrophic, depending on one's physical distance from Gaza. Luckily, for my family, we are not in the direct line of fire, so while there are infrequent air raid sirens, there haven't been any direct hits in our village. The people most affected are those closest to Gaza. They are basically living in bomb shelters. It is these civilians who have been suffering like this for the past 10 years. Almost everyday they have weathered mortars and missiles that have gone unnoticed by the international media. That is the hypocrisy, only when we retaliate does the world take notice, and censure us. To be sure, the civilians in Gaza are suffering terribly. They suffer many more casualties than we. This is not merely because of our military might, but principally because of our different ideologies. While prepared for this war by building bomb shelters and defensive measures like iron dome, the Hamas-run government has used the considerable funds provided by the U.S. and EU to arm themselves with weapons whose only purpose is to terrorize Southern Israel. While we embrace life they embrace death. They don't deny it: 

That is why they die and we live. That is why even while they terrorize us with missiles fired from civilian areas, stockpile rockets in schools, mosques and hospitals, we treat their sick (who are allowed to cross into Israel) along with our sick and wounded. This is our moral strength and their moral weakness. This is why we will prevail.

So Seaspray, now that you've asked, I answer your concern with this: 

"Our lives begin to end the minute we become silent about things that matter."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Anti-Smoking Video

Smokers who enter my pre-anesthesia clinic usually get more than food for thought. This video does it nicely in a non-preachy way. (h/t Treppenwitz)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mpemba Effect

Which freezes faster, hot water or cold water? It's obvious, isn't it? Before you make up your mind, watch this:

This effect has been known for centuries and was first described by Aristotle. In modern times it was rediscovered by Erasto Mpemba in 1963. He was a Tanzanian schoolboy at the time and noticed the effect while preparing ice cream in a cookery class.
Here is a layman's explanation
For you physics braniacs here is a technical paper outlining 7 experiments.
Amazingly, such a seemingly simple (yet counterintuitive) phenomenon still has no conclusive explanation. 
I'm wondering if the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Universal Anesthesia Machine

"Necessity is the mother of invention" comes to mind.

Hat tip: Joe
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