Working in medicine presents truly testing challenges for anyone. Adding the uncertainty that comes with autism can take these challenges to new heights. So how do those with autism break down the barriers of their diagnoses to become effective members of the healthcare community? And are there benefits to having such a unique mental approach to tasks? HEALTH & WELLBEING SPECIALIST LIZ CROWE SITS DOWN WITH CANDICE CARLISLE – A NURSE IN THE ACUTE PAIN SPECIALTY TEAM WHO ALSO HAS AUTISM. CANDICE ADDRESSES THE ASSUMPTIONS, CHALLENGES & UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF BEING AN AUTISTIC MEMBER OF THE HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE. Candice begins by recognising the key role that autism plays in her shaping identity, and the importance of not shying away from her diagnosis. In saying this, she also affirms that having autism does not define who she is. Having two children with autism, Candice also ensures that they embrace the condition and see it as a good thing. CANDICE GOES ON TO EXPLAIN HOW THOSE WITHOUT AUTISM CAN “DO THE RIGHT THING” WHEN ADDRESSING THOSE WITH THE CONDITION. “For me, just knowing that people have the knowledge,” “…that’s fantastic.” Candice states that recognising autism within conversations and acknowledging the differences in a positive, open-minded light is helpful. LIZ DIRECTS THE CONVERSATION TO CANDICE’S CAREER AS A NURSE AND HOW HER AUTISM AFFECTS HER WORK. Candice concedes that the changes brought about by Covid were very difficult to deal with due to her reliance on routine. Different autism-specific anxieties make accepting change very difficult. Despite this, Candice explains that there are unexpected benefits to having autism in her line of work – the standout ones being attention-to-detail and situational awareness. She also explains how mechanisms like mimicry & masking can help autistic people cope in many areas of work and life. THE PAIR CONCLUDE BY DISCUSSING THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPORT FROM THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE AUTISM, PARTICULARLY IN THE WORKFORCE. Tune in to this unique, insightful take on autism with Liz Crowe & Candice Carlisle. Breaking Barriers: Working in Healthcare with Autism For more like this, head to our podcast page https://codachange.org/podcasts/. #CodaPodcast
Health care constitutes 7% of Australians domestic carbon footprint with hospitals and pharmaceuticals being responsible for almost 2/3rd of these emissions. We can reduce this carbon burden by addressing our practice habits, taking emissions into account, while achieving best practice care. Three areas where we can really make a difference are in pathology ordering, asthma management and anaesthetic gases. In each of these, low carbon practice also constitutes good clinical practice, making climate action a win for emissions and a win for our patients. In this recorded After Hours Webinar presented by Kate Wylie, Dr Roger Harris presents the excellent work that Coda Change is doing to address these three climate actions. Dr Harris is a co-founder of Coda and a senior staff specialist in the intensive care unit at the Royal North Shore hospital and the Sydney Adventist hospital (SAN). He is dual qualified in Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care and is passionate about education and climate change. This is a recorded version of an After Hours webinar. For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast
“5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SAVE THE PLANET” with Hugh Montgomery (w. Liz Crowe) SCIENTIST & CLIMATE EXPERT HUGH MONTGOMERY DISCUSSES THE CONCERNING STATE OF THE PLANET & OUTLINES WHY WE NEED TO BEGIN TAKING REAL, IMMEDIATE ACTION TO SAVE IT. In this chat with wellbeing specialist Liz Crowe, Hugh begins by addressing the satirical Netflix film “Don’t Look Up” and pointing out that it may not be as far from reality as people think. We’ve been sitting on our hands & ignoring warnings in terms of greenhouse gases for too long, and Hugh warns that the “asteroid is about to strike”. HUGH CITES REPORTS WHICH CLAIM WE HAVE JUST A FEW YEARS TO TURN AROUND THE CLIMATE CRISIS. HE DETAILS WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF THINGS DON’T CHANGE. Extreme weather will be one of the most notable signs. Global sea levels will also rise noticeably and temperatures across the world will reach record highs. These will be “colossal changes” according to Hugh. This will lead to up to 2/3 of the world’s population needing to move to try and escape these extreme changes. There is a “rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future”. BUT WHAT CAN WE DO? HUGH SAYS WE NEED TO BEGIN TAKING RADICAL ACTION. For those wanting to take greater steps toward saving the planet, Hugh recommends starting with the following ways: __ __ To finish on a lighter note, Hugh states that “we are the only generation that has ever had the chance to save humanity” and reminds us that yes, we CAN do it. Tune in to this eye-opening assessment of our ever-changing climate with Hugh Montgomery & Liz Crowe. For more like this, head to our podcast page https://codachange.org/podcasts/ #CodaPodcast
James Anstey provides his thoughts on the recent developments in delayed cerebral ischaemia following a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Unlike TBI, where outcomes have plateaued after 20 years, outcomes have steadily improved for aneurysmal SAH. Early intervention, with an increasing amount of coiling as opposed to clipping as well as ICU all likely playing a part. However, there is still a subsection of patients who deteriorate three days or more post their event. This is likely due to delayed cerebral ischaemia (as opposed to pure vasospasm). This is a diagnosis of exclusion in a patient who deteriorates after three days post bleed and without hydrocephalus, seizures, infection or another identifiable causal pathology. There are several pathophysiological factors at play. Firstly, microcirculatory problems, including vasoconstriction in capillary beds and clumping with endothelial damage. This is perhaps why treatments to improve perfusion have had little success. Next, a combination of cortical spreading ischaemia and angiographic vasospasm. Gold standard diagnosis of vasospasm remains the catheters angiography. Transcranial Doppler and CT angiography are both being used more and more and certainly have a role to play. CT angiography in particular stacks up reasonably well to catheter angiography and has a negative predictive value approaching 100%. One potential problem is overcalling the narrowing at times and has occasional artefacts. Transcranial Doppler is used occasionally however has challenges with reliable operators, is user dependent and only visualises a part of the cerebral circulation. Patients deteriorate, and we of course want to make sense of it. But what do we do thereafter? Hypertensive therapy with the aim to improve cerebral perfusion is often the go to method. James shares his thoughts on this technique, with reference to the current literature. Similarly, we diagnose vessel narrowing as the problem, however therapies that reverses this does not seem to confer good clinical outcomes. There is a large list of failed therapies because of this fact. This raises lots of questions about this patient group. Jame’s main messages are to not become obsessive with vasospasm, use CT angiography as a good substitute for catheter angiography and be cautious of vasodilator therapies as they generally do not seem to affect long term prognosis. This #CodaPodcast was recorded in November 2018 as part of Brain, a CICM Neuro Special Interest Group meeting. For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast
Peter Brindley joins you again to bring you The Great Re-Engagement, alongside Pelesa Motshabi Chakane, Silvia Perez-Protto and Andrew Shaw. THIS EPISODE EXPLORES THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE, AND THE WAYS TO UTILISE THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY, RESEARCH, AND TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE GREATER CONTENTMENT FOR CLINICIANS TO ENABLE EXCELLENT HEALTHCARE AT A GLOBAL LEVEL. What will successful medicine look like in 10 years’ time if we get it right? It is a daunting prospect to consider. Palesa hopes that the positivity that has been borne out of the Covid-19 pandemic continues. She believes it will be the capacity for the healthcare system to utilise the unity that has been exhibited over the last two years will be the driving force for ongoing positive change. Ideally, this leads to healthcare for everyone, prevention of sickness and disease and exceptional care for the whole person. Silvia speaks of her dream of the abolition of healthcare disparity and universal access for all. Andrew hopes that the medical community will engage both science and art to make these dreams reality. Andrew speaks about the integration of technology into the practise of medicine and explores the potential benefits and disadvantages. Further he speaks to the changing nature of healthcare to be servicing customers as opposed to patients. This comes with greater choice for individuals accessing healthcare. He sees this “relationship based” healthcare as key to ensuring technology does not become all consuming. Prevention, rather than cure, is a key tenant to the development of healthcare in Andrew’s opinion. This sentiment is founded on an agreement to a moral contract by the medical community. The moral contract contains within it a right to affordable and accessible healthcare for all. Silvia feels poor data collection, especially in terms of underrepresented groups, is hindering the design and implementation of health care systems. The way forward is meaningful engagement with all patients to better design systems. Palesa provides a viewpoint from a system in lower income countries. Whilst the medium and high-income countries are faced with challenges surrounded the rising use of technology and perhaps patient disengagement, Palesa makes the point that for most of the world, burden of disease is still the major challenge to be faced. Utilising technology in an appropriate way to bridge the gap between low- and high-income countries is the way forward Balancing education, research and clinical care is another challenge that is becoming more and more apparent. Andrew thinks that clinical care is, and must be, at the forefront of medical practise. It is what the patients hold most highly and for good reason. Whilst education and research are important, these pursuits may be best to be left to those who are legitimately good them. The team discuss the best ways to balance being pulled in multiple directions whilst keeping the patients at the forefront. For more like this, head to our podcast page https://codachange.org/podcasts/. #CodaPodcast
Climate change is a real and accelerating existential danger. Urgent action is required to halt its progression, and everyone can contribute. Pollution mitigation represents an important opportunity for much needed leadership from the health community, addressing a threat that will directly and seriously impact the health and well-being of current and future generations. Inhalational anaesthetics are a significant contributor to healthcare-related greenhouse gas emissions and minimising their climate impact represents a meaningful and achievable intervention. A challenge exists in translating well-established knowledge about inhalational anaesthetic pollution into practical action. This new guideline is designed to provide a platform that engages health professionals as an active learning community, and invites sharing of success stories and evolving solutions across varied global practice settings. For this podcast, @GongGasGirl interviews @jessahegedus https://twitter.com/jessahegedus about how they did it and why it is important. This podcast was recorded for the Anaesthesia Journal. For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast
In this episode of the #CodaEarth podcast about reducing harmful gases in anaesthesia, host Laura Raiti is joined by Jessica Hegedus - an anaesthetist working in Wollongong, New South Wales, who is also a member of Doctors for the Environment. As someone passionate about environmental sustainability within anaesthesia, Jessica starts by telling Laura that the one thing that motivates her the most when it comes to the climate crisis is the fact that it’s an emergency that will end up impacting us all; as both citizens living in the community, and professionally as healthcare workers responding to its impacts. This puts many of us in the unique position in that we’re contributing to a crisis inadvertently as healthcare professionals, that we’ll also be on the frontline responding to. They talk about the importance of reframing climate change as a health problem, and how as healthcare professionals we have the responsibility to protect and preserve health. Jessica notes that while reducing healthcare admissions won’t resolve the climate crisis, that our leadership is essential, and that healthcare professionals are an important and trusted voice for action. She believes that we can send a powerful signal by getting our own house in order and that all contributions towards a low carbon society are important, however small. Focus then shifts to the #CodaEarth Action – reducing harmful volatile agents used in anaesthesia - which not only make a significant contribution to CO2 healthcare emissions, but whose use is also directly within our control. Collective attention to reducing the impact is both meaningful and achievable opportunity for healthcare providers to demonstrate their leadership. Laura and Jess also discuss six evidence-based actions to reduce anaesthetic gas usage that are practical and don’t compromise patient care. The actions include removing Desflurane from clinical use, de-commissioning Nitrous oxide piping, rationalizing Nitrous oxide where possible, advocating that healthcare workers use the lowest possible fresh gas flow, prioritising alternatives that have less environmental impact, and tracking progress, sharing results, and engaging with others. Jess was inspired due to frustrations with slow progress on climate change, combined with increasingly visible effects of the crisis on the community and her practice, and has found that it can be both empowering and rewarding to exercise advocacy and effect change within her patch. Jess also tells Laura that she believes there are meaningful actions we can all take that will contribute to a greater whole, and that the potential for healthcare providers to do this is immense. Jess believes that all contributions are meaningful and all roles are important, and that people shouldn’t be deterred by how big the problem is; perfect is the enemy of good and something is better than nothing. Join Coda Earth now to safely reduce pMDI usage in your own practice.
In this episode of the #CodaEarth podcast, host Laura Raiti speaks to Brett Montgomery, a Perth-based GP & senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia. As someone who is passionate about the climate emergency and the role each of us play in reducing the carbon footprint of healthcare, Brett is also the lead author of our Coda action plan to reduce usage of metered dose inhalers (pMDIs). To kick off the podcast, Brett touches upon the fact that while much of society sees climate change as a political or environmental issue more commonly associated with polar bears and icebergs melting, he believes it’s important that we begin to see it as a huge public health issue to cultivate real change. Brett believes that by reframing it as an issue that has real and serious health consequences, it will ensure people who aren’t currently concerned by its effect are motivated to act when it comes to both climate change and their own health. Brett then goes on to discuss in further detail his particular point of focus, which is the overuse of inhalers in healthcare. They discuss that while inhalers may appear to be a minor contribution to our impact as a whole when compared to the likes of aeroplanes and cars, in actual fact they have a disproportionate effect on health system’s carbon footprint. In fact, the healthcare system in Australia contributes about 7% of our entire national footprint – so not an insignificant number - and within the 7% about a quarter is down to prescriptions, of which, a fair chunk can be attributed to these inhalers. Laura and Brett then go on to talk about ways in which the Coda community can get involved, and Brett highlights that it’s important that everyone is more mindful about prescribing inhalers and that they employ critical thinking when it comes to ensuring that an inhaler is the right choice for both the patient and the environment. They explore alternatives such as dry mist or powder inhalers, and consider a study that shows that between a third and a half of people who are prescribed these inhalers struggle to find evidence of the diagnoses. Finally, they look at what the future could look like for Australia, should we work towards a collective movement against climate change, and discuss leading countries such as the UK and Sweden, both of whom are working towards eradicating overall health emissions. To close, Brett shares his key piece of advice for those wanting to make change: the best climate action is what you’re good at, what you enjoy and what the world needs. Join Coda Earth now to safely reduce pMDI usage in your own practice.
In this special podcast focused on the ‘Reduce Pathology Test Ordering’ step of the Coda Earth Action Agenda, host Laura Rati is joined by Forbes McGain. Forbes is an antitheist and intensive care physician who works at Western Health Melbourne and is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of both Sydney and Melbourne. He is passionate about making seemingly small, environmental financial and social sustainability changes to how we practise medicine, and is currently examining ways in which we can make hospitals more sustainable. To open the podcast, Forbes and Laura discuss exactly what it is that makes Forbes most passionate about championing change when it comes to the environment. Forbes credits two main driving factors – the first being that he is a strong believer that nature truly is extraordinary and delicate, and thanks to his childhood spent growing up on a farm - he’s really been close to nature, and he believes that loosing that would be deeply sad for people the world over. He also cites that as the father of two children, it’s really important that they get the chance to experience the things he has experienced in his life. Forbes also touches upon the fact that climate change is just a single example of our overwhelming use of resources on the earth. Forbes is a passionate advocate of Coda, and believes the global community of healthcare professionals are fantastic in exploring and taking the next step beyond research. He speaks to Coda’s ability to translate medical evidence and data to influence beyond the work practise of just one person. When discussing how the Coda community can work collectively to make a huge impact on the environment, Forbes states that pathology testing – and the frequent overuse of these tests - is something everyone can be involved in; highlighting that millions of tests around the world can be reduced to lessen the environmental impact. Laura and Forbes explore the unnecessary amount of atrial blood gas tests (ABG) that are done each year. They examine a hospital case which saw a third of over 65k blood gases performed annually ultimately deemed unnecessary. They consider the fact that everything healthcare professionals do has a carbon footprint, from a single pathology test right through to a new MRI scanner; meaning that reducing these tests has an impact on patients, finances and carbon footprint. Finally, Forbes offers his advice to those who haven’t yet made climate change a priority, simply stating that educating oneself is the first step, and that while there are certain things you can do alone; there’s a lot more that can be done by collaborating with others. Join Coda Earth now to reduce unnecessary pathology testing in your own practice.
In part 2 of this episode of the Coda podcast, Coda co-founder Roger Harris is again joined by Sydney-based Chris Anderson and Lausanne-based Frederic Michard, as they discuss how we can do better when it comes to deteriorating patients. In part 1, the three intensive care specialists explored precisely what a deteriorating patient is, how big a problem they are and exactly why we should care – in this episode Harris, Anderson and Michard now look at ways in which the problem can be resolved. Hosted by Roger Harris, he is joined by guests Frederic Michard - a Critical Care MD, PhD and Chris Anderson - a fellow intensive care specialist. Roger speaks to Frederic and Chris about ways in which healthcare professionals can recognise deteriorating patients sooner, and how they should be responded to, as well as discussing both solutions and how deteriorating patients can be better detected. By way of a resolution, the three experts explore the idea of wearable, mobile solutions and – imagining the future of patient monitoring – they discuss what said solutions might look like, and how they will help nurses monitor deteriorating patients. They also address the question that arises regarding which patients are most in need of monitoring, concluding that it’s those at the greatest risk of clinical deterioration. Harris, Anderson and Michard also agree that there is reason to believe that new, future techniques will be able to ensure accurate detection of deteriorating patients, and that smarter software will make such a task more streamlined. Michard finishes by noting the importance that healthcare professionals focus on individualising not only the monitoring that is on offer, but – equally important - precisely who is going to be monitored and when. For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast This podcast is sponsored by GE Healthcare.
In this episode of the Coda podcast, Coda co-founder Roger Harris is joined by Sydney-based Chris Anderson and Lausanne-based Frederic Michard, as they explore precisely what a deteriorating patient is, how big a problem they are and exactly why we should care. Hosted by Roger Harris, guest Frederic Michard is a Critical Care MD, PhD, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, who trained in Paris University Hospitals and in Boston and is well known for his research work and publications, while Chris Anderson is a fellow intensive care specialist, also based in Sydney. Roger speaks to Frederic and Chris about why it is that many patients who are admitted to hospital for surgery end up staying due to complications, and the implications this has on both hospitals and nurses as a whole. Also touched upon within the podcast is failure to rescue – or FTR – which is the failure or delay in recognizing and responding to a hospitalized patient experiencing complications from a disease process or medical intervention. They discuss the two main components – the failure to detect deterioration at an early stage and the failure to react appropriately and in a timely manner and the impact this can have on patients. Addressing startling statistics – which suggest an alarming number of patients will die within 30 days of surgery - the three intensive care specialists pose the question: how do we better detect and monitor deteriorating patients? They discuss everything from the unreliable recordings of respiratory rates to other inaccuracies that can impact both the treatment and detection of deteriorating patients, to the effect older patients on hospital wards are having on the complexity of cases and conclude that there is absolutely room for improvement regarding how patients are monitored. Reflecting on the influence that Covid has had on hospitals, the three experts note that many health care systems are under strain in the post-pandemic world, and that the subsequent nurse shortages are a huge issue, particularly on hospital wards. They conclude that this too, is a reason to upgrade the way in which our patients are monitored. For more like this, head to our podcast page https://codachange.org/podcasts/. #CodaPodcast This podcast is sponsored by GE Healthcare.
Following on from the Commit step episode, in which the Coda team discussed turning anxiety into action as a way to start bringing about change, host Dr Laura Raiti - who is both a paediatric oncology fellow, and a Coda team member – speaks to Dr Fintan Hughes, an anaesthesiology resident, about the next step we should be taking as a collective Coda community. In this episode, Laura and Fintan start by discussing the urgent need to come together to bring about necessary change, which forms the basis for this step – which is to examine our behaviours and the impact they’re having on our own carbon footprint. They touch upon how using a carbon footprint calculator (such as the one on our website) is the first step when it comes to identifying areas in which we can do better by looking at our own personal footprint, and the importance of doing so, without feeling guilty. From committing to change to examining where that change should start, the podcast explores the idea of flipping the script, and using the calculator to cultivate change and co-ordinated action. Fintan also talks about how completing a fellowship at University College London inspired him to get involved with Coda; and how he thinks the entire Coda community can get involved to bring about maximum change. From taking measures to becoming a more ethical shopper, to paying more attention to where you bank, Fintan examines seemingly small and easily accessible steps that every listener can take to make a huge impact on our carbon footprint. Fintan also shares with listeners his key piece of advice for those who haven’t yet started taking climate action but want to help contribute to bringing about change, and explains how it’s the small things that can make a big difference. For more head to our podcast page.
In the first episode of Coda Earth’s unmissable new podcast, listeners will hear Coda co-founders Roger Harris and Oli Flower discuss a wide range of topics from exactly how and why Coda came to be, to how each and every one of us can make small, simple, and actionable changes that will make a real difference to the planet. Hosted by Dr Laura Raiti - who is both a paediatric oncology fellow, and a Coda team member - she speaks to Roger and Oli about just how easy it is to commit to change – and why it’s the first step toward more sustainable healthcare delivery. The three of them discuss everything from the pandemic, to the bigger issue of climate crisis, and exactly why it’s the biggest threat to global health. They also touch on the fact that while many of us feel helpless as individuals, and that there is a real sense of anxiety in the community, that together, we can turn that anxiety into action. From committing to adding your voice to the movement, to acting together as a community to have a real impact on our collective carbon footprint, the podcast explores the climate change actions heath care professionals can get involved with, on both a macro and micro level. Coda is all about taking action wherever possible, and about making such action fun and enjoyable for the whole community, and ensuring both action and advocacy are accessible to as many people as possible. And so, in this podcast you can expect to hear practical pointers on exactly where to start, templates for each action which are very simple to follow, and a selection of simplified tips that really will make a difference. Designed for people at all stages of life, the tips will draw on expertise from all over the world and will give listeners the best possible starting point to make meaningful change. For more head to our podcast page.
Catalina Sokoloff presents Milrinone for treatment of post-aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage vasospasm (delayed cerebral ischaemia.) Catalina firsts explains the pathophysiology of delayed cerebral ischaemia. She makes the point that there is still much we do not know. Probable mechanisms at the microcirculation level include release of free radicals, lipid peroxidation, cortical depression spreading and microthrombi formation. The ideal treatment once delayed cerebral ischaemia is present is therefore unknown. Mechanical angioplasty seems to be favourable in some instances however has its shortcomings. As such it is often reserved as a rescue option. ‘Triple H’ therapy is intended to improve blood flow beyond constricted vessels; however, each component is flawed as Catalina explains. Intraarterial drugs have been tried however similarly, the evidence is lacking. This brings Catalina to Milrinone. This drug is a phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor that has vasodilating and inotropic properties. Relevantly, the cerebrovascular smooth muscle contains large amounts of phosphodiesterase 3, making Milrinone promising. The combination of increased cardiac output, alongside decreased afterload theoretically should increase cerebral blood flow and subsequently brain perfusion. Milrinone has also been shown to be a potent anti-platelet aggregator as well as possessing anti-inflammatory properties. Both processes are likely involved in the pathophysiology of delayed cerebral ischaemia. Catalina continues to discuss the trials (both animal and human studies) that look at the effect of this drug. Whilst there are still no randomised control trials (at the time of the talk) looking at Milrinone, the early retrospective trial data is promising. There are of course still obstacles surrounding the drugs Namely, no standard dose, no guidelines regarding titration and concerns surrounding the vasodilating properties. Catalina concludes by proposing the pros of this treatment as she sees it. She argues that the apparent improvement in mortality, the non-invasive nature, and the lack of haemodynamic compromise are all indicators of the potential future of the treatment. Please note this episode was recorded in November 2018 as part of Brain, a CICM Neuro Special Interest Group meeting click here for more info. For more like this, head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast
Communicating Science In A Pandemic (Pt. 2) The power & presence that social media has in healthcare communication cannot be ignored. However, many are still reluctant to embrace its usefulness as a tool which can enhance education and patient connections. IN PART 2 OF THIS PODCAST, DR JESSICA STOKES-PARISH CONTINUES TO DISSECT THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCIENCE COMMUNICATION, ALONGSIDE REGISTERED NURSES PENNY BLUNDEN (@SICK.HAPPENS) & PATRICK MCMURRAY (@PATMACRN). The trio begin by addressing the negative tone that accompanies the topic of social media in the nursing community. Patrick explains how this perception should be abandoned and social media should instead be seen & used as an educational tool. Patrick integrates social media into his own role as a clinical educator and knows first-hand how effective it can be when used correctly. The focus then turns to the importance on educating the educators. Patrick & Penny outline how medical educators must learn how to use social media to expand practice and connect with people. They can then demonstrate to their students how to use the social media tool responsibly, the same way they teach responsible use of stethoscopes or syringes. Penny goes on to say that there is a need for greater support for nurses online, particularly with regulation. If online regulation guidelines are unclear, nurses can often become un-registered and simply give away unregulated information under the guise of being an “ex-nurse”. PATRICK & PENNY THEN GIVE TIPS FOR ANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WANTING TO UTILISE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SCIENCE COMMUNICATION. Penny highlights the importance of remaining authentic and not comparing yourself to others. This is the way to avoid “imposter syndrome”. She also says that it is essential to always have evidence to back up your claims. Patrick advises to not get caught up in follower numbers. Focus more on quality content and staying true to yourself. Tune in to this unique, insightful take on science communication through social media with Jessica Stokes-Parish. Communicating Science in a Pandemic (Pt 2). For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast
In Part 2 of this podcast Hugh Montgomery, Liz Crowe, and Shelly Dev along with Peter Brindley continue their discussion on wellness, resilience, burn out and being a healthcare worker in the world now. IN THIS EPISODE THE TEAM DISCUSSES THE BROADER ORGANISATION STRUCTURE AND HOW THIS CONTRIBUTES TO (OR DETRACTS FROM) TEAMWORK AND HEALTHCARE WORKER WELLNESS AND SATISFACTION. Shelly delves into the topic of the organisations and whether they are supporting the clinicians on the ground in the best possible way. Senior leadership, in her opinion, has done a major disservice to healthcare workers in their support and leadership roles. The support needed on the ground transcends yoga classes and healthy cooking recipes. Organisational support needs to acknowledge the needs and desires of healthcare staff, namely, to deliver excellent care and have good days at work in the context of a healthy life. Liz suggests that although the organisational leadership is important for the overall wellbeing of the workforce, they are one aspect of a broader picture. She believes that leaders should be mentored in leadership. Teaching people basic communication and feedback skills would make a huge difference. Similarly, fostering a culture of togetherness and unity amongst separate entities of a larger organisation would lead to greater worker satisfaction and lead to better outcomes for patients. HUGH RAISES THE POINT OF CLINICAL OUTCOMES BEING INFLUENCED BY ENGAGEMENT OF HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS BY SENIOR MANAGEMENT. Management teams engaging with clinical staff seem to increase the patient care being delivered. Hugh provides his thoughts as to why this may be the case. Without senior management support, clinicians are increasingly overworked in a system that is constantly pushing back. This can, and does, lead to staff finally breaking and resigning on the spot. The core the issue of healthcare worker burnout and dissatisfaction is simple Shelly states. In her view, everyone in healthcare at their core are good and decent people. They desire support and structures that allow them to enact this value in their everyday work. Although the solutions to the broad range of problems facing health systems across the globe are not as straight forward, remembering this fact is a good starting point. From here, the team provide some of their insights into the way forward. * Tune in to this authentic perspective on healthcare worker wellbeing with Peter Brindley, Hugh Montgomery, Liz Crowe & Shelly Dev. Overcoming the Great Resignation through Realisation: Part 2 * For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast This podcast is brought to you by Teleflex
This episode discusses the effect of the pandemic on healthcare professionals at an individual level, and how this has broad reaching ramifications at a team and industry level across different country contexts. IN THIS PODCAST PETER BRINDLEY IS JOINED BY HUGH MONTGOMERY, LIZ CROWE, AND SHELLY DEV TO DISCUSS WELLNESS, RESILIENCE, BURN OUT AND BEING A HEALTHCARE WORKER IN THE WORLD NOW. THIS EPISODE EXPLORES JOB SECURITY, PUBLIC RECOGNITION, AND THE EFFECT OF THE PANDEMIC AT A PERSONAL LEVEL FOR DOCTORS AND NURSES. In the context of the pandemic, the good comes with the bad – as Liz explains. Throughout the pandemic we have seen health care professionals experience trying work conditions the world over. However, it is one of the few industries that did not experience staff layoffs and work reduction. On the other hand, all healthcare systems in the world are imperfect. Throwing a pandemic into the mix produced even more challenges. It was therefore unlikely that the mental health and satisfaction from work was going to improve over the past two years. Hugh discusses the disposition of healthcare workers in London during the pandemic – one of the hardest hit regions in the world. Whilst the pandemic initially provided an opportunity for intensive care doctors and nurses to do what they are trained to do; the ongoing nature has proven to be challenging. The doctors in his system are weary – both mentally and physically. Shelly highlights the touching nature of working within a close team during this difficult period. In her experience there is a comradery that has been emphasised through the pandemic. However, Shelly states that even in non-pandemic times healthcare workers have struggled to cultivate a healthy relationship with the rest of their lives outside of work. Therefore, her first thoughts at the start of the pandemic were not of the intellectually interesting challenge, but rather what was going to happen with her family. On a broader scale, Shelly posits these hardships may lead to more and more healthcare professionals leaving the industry. Tune in to this authentic perspective on healthcare worker wellbeing with Peter Brindley, Hugh Montgomery, Liz Crowe & Shelly Dev. Overcoming the Great Resignation through Realisation: Part 1 For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast This podcast is brought to you by Teleflex
Communicating scientific information as a health professional is far more than just posting healthcare tips online. What can & can’t be posted? Who do we really listen to? And who is allowed to say what? DR JESSICA STOKES-PARISH CHATS WITH REGISTERED NURSES & SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITIES PENNY BLUNDEN (@SICK.HAPPENS) & PARTICK MCMURRAY (@PATMACRN) ABOUT THE BARRIERS FACING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH THEIR AUDIENCES ONLINE. Picking up where Professor Tim Caulfield’s “Great Rejection” misinformation podcast left off, Dr Jessica Stokes-Parish unpacks the challenge of communicating accurate information via social media as a health professional, specifically nurses. Penny Blunden and Patrick McMurray both have successful, widely-followed social media accounts which they use to provide useful insights into healthcare to mass audiences. Jessica states how in recent years, including during Covid, she saw a rise in scientific misinformation across social networks. Whilst there was a strong presence of doctors attempting to de-bunk these myths, input from nurses seemed to be far less visible. This is why she recruited Penny & Patrick for some authentic perceptions of the relationship between science and social media. Both Penny & Patrick outline how their own unique experiences as health professionals led them to use social media to provide more accurate, helpful healthcare information. The group explore the role & presence of nurses online and what kind of content resonates most with audiences. They also unpack how the perception of nurses as second-rate healthcare providers left them without a strong voice for a long time - which is why online accounts like Penny’s & Patrick’s are so vital. THE TRIO THEN DIVE INTO THE KEY BARRIERS WHICH THEY FACE AS ONLINE INFORMATION PROVIDERS. Challenges ranging from imposter syndrome & judgement from colleagues to social media policies & regulations are all investigated. Patrick states that existing on social media in a “helpful and meaningful way” must remain top-of-mind. Tune in to this unique, insightful take on science communication through social media with Jessica Stokes-Parish. * Tune in to this unique, insightful take on science communication through social media with Jessica Stokes-Parish. Communicating Science in a Pandemic (Pt 1). For more like this, head to our podcast page https://codachange.org/podcasts/. #CodaPodcast
Nazih Assaad provides his expertise on the treatment of subarachoid haemorrhage. Treatment for aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is an area that has had extensive research but not a great deal of success. Promising animal studies have not turned out as hoped in clinical trials and many questions remain unanswered. Nazih guides the listener through his approach on how to address the complicated presentation of SAH. Firstly, subarachnoid haemorrhages can be graded clinically and radiologically. Clinical grades provide useful prognostic information, with poorer grades less likely to do as well as more favourable grades, despite best medical and intervention management. Nazih mentions the Fisher Scale which is useful for predicting vasospasm and how he integrates both into practise. NAZIH WILL GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE FOUR ELEMENTS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF ESTABLISHED SAH. Moreover, these are the four areas he believes every clinician working in this space should consider with every patient presenting with a SAH. The first is the effect of the haemorrhage itself on the patient. The sudden rise of intracranial pressure secondary to aneurysm rupture leads to dramatic clinical signs. These includes loss of consciousness and seizure like activity. There are no known agents to reverse the effects of the initial insult. Secondly, managing the degree of hydrocephalus that most, if not all, patients will have if critical. Clinical hydrocephalus is treated with CSF drainage. Thirdly, the prevention of re-haemorrhage is important. In bygone eras, patients with aneurysmal SAH did not have immediate management of the bleed. This has changed. Finally, delayed cerebral ischaemia (usually relating to vasospasm) should be addressed. Gold standard of diagnosis is digital subtraction angiography, and following this, Nazih describes his aggressive management approach. Nazih takes the listener through what he considers the most critical aspects of managing a patient with an aneurysmal SAH. This talk explores diagnostic techniques, patient examination, surgical options, and other management considerations. He touches on the most recent guidelines and protocols around Australia and the world. Please note this episode was recorded in November 2018 as part of Brain, a CICM Neuro Special Interest Group meeting click here for more info. For more like this, head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast
Whilst US medicine has always had issues, the pandemic sent the practice of medicine into a state of disarray. DR JUSTIN HENSLEY DISCUSSES THE STATE OF US MEDICINE THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC. THE POWER OF INSURANCE COMPANIES AND DESPERATE WORKING CONDITIONS IN US HOSPITALS. In this talk, Justin outlines the "idealistic" view he had of emergency care before working in the ED. However, he was not prepared for the “joyless” nature of a medical system which seemed to place profits above patients. Through a detailed account of what it’s like to work in the US healthcare system, Justin shares his belief that US medicine is “purely, 100% a business”. He dives into the unavoidable financial struggles that patients must endure with private insurance companies for even the most basic care. Justin states that, at times, it felt as though he was just “generating a bill for the patient”. Venturing further into the issue of insurance companies, Justin takes us through his own experience of delivering healthcare to rural Americans. His patient-first philosophy led this project, only to have it shut down due to insurance companies not recognising the importance of his work. JUSTIN GOES ON TO TACKLE THE ISSUE OF BURNOUT. He explains how fear at the beginning of the pandemic saw ED patient numbers drop, meaning less cashflow and dramatic cutting of shifts. Once the patient volumes went back up, staffing failed to appropriately match the new demand. This lead to a burnout-fuelled “logistical nightmare”. Finally, Justin outlines how “embracing the suck” led him to move to Australia to pursue his current endeavour. He has reignited his passion for providing much-needed healthcare to rural patients. Tune in to this fascinating take on international healthcare with Dr Justin Hensley. Healthcare Wellbeing: Knowing when it's time for a change For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast
In part 2 of The Great Rejection, Peter Brindley and Tim Caulfield return to continue their discussion of misinformation in the world of health science. This episode examines how to teach the public to think critically, how to deal with uncertainty as a clinician and how to better understand the pros and cons of transparency. HOW DO WE TEACH SCIENCE IN AN EVER-EXPANDING WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION? Tim suggests going back to first principles and reinforcing to the public that science is a process. Secondly, Tim highlights how basic educational tools can make a big difference when teaching the public to cut through the noise. Moreover, creating engaging content with accurate messaging can help turn the tide on misinformation in the public realm. This brings Tim and Peter to the idea of uncertainty and how it sits with the public. The research suggests that the public wants the scientific community to be honest about uncertainty. Reassuringly, the same research tells us that by being honest, an institution or medical body does not lose any credibility. Tim points out the incredible uptake of mask wearing in some countries. This is despite misinformation being disseminated online, an indication of the willingness to acknowledge uncertainty and still act in accordance with advice. TIM DISCUSSES THE DOWNSIDES OF POPULATION ENGAGEMENT. Whilst transparency is positive on its own, it may not achieve the aims originally intended. Tim highlights public reactions to literature retractions, medical debates, and conflicting results as an example of scientific transparency being counterproductive. However, that is science! And it is messy – as such it does not always lead to good, especially in the short term. However, Tim contends that whilst the ‘backfire effect’ (the negative ramifications of debunking scientific claims) exists, the real-world implications are small. Therefore, scientists and medical professionals should not worry too much about retracting or debunking previously established evidence. Finally, for more like this, head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast For more on Tim Caulfield, click here.
Please note this episode was recorded in November 2018 as part of Brain, a CICM Neuro Special Interest Group meeting click here for more info. Oli Flower gives us a preview into the future of traumatic brain injury (TBI) management. It is late in the 21st century and a man suffers a TBI. Oli describes the on scene immediate management of this patient. Drones and closed-circuit cameras combine to provide the closest ever trauma centre, taking tissue samples and patient images. Not only that, but the samples have been analysed and referenced against a huge database, providing the awaiting critical care clinicians with an individualised and effective treatment plan for each patient. BUT, THIS FUTURE DEPENDS ON INFORMATION. To develop the technology that Oli envisages, we need to collect more information in the right way. Ultimately, the future of TBI management requires the development of tools to apply masses of information to the patient in a meaningful way. One such was to achieve this, is by using biobanks. A biobank is a repository of human tissues and samples with the corresponding appropriate and correct annotating data. Specifically, for TBI this primarily means blood and CSF. The tissue is annotated with prognostic information and patient centred long-term outcome data from its donor, allowing a huge pool of information that can be accessed to inform treatment moving forward. Evidently, the potential for a biobank is enormous. Oli describes rapid genomic assessment, proteomic analysis and metabolomic profiling as potentials in the near future. This data would provide a plethora of information per patient. This does however, pose a challenge, and leads to the need for advanced computer processing to interpret the data, whilst being able to factor in the dynamic and evolving processes that define critical care. Artificial intelligence no doubt has a part to play. Biobanks have started to be developed across Australia and the world. However, they requires a massive collaboration that spans across countries. In doing so, we can strive towards the future treatment of TBI. Finally, for more like this, head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast
Peter Brindley and Timothy Caulfield answer the big questions around how science and health are represented in the public sphere. What is science? When do we accept it and when do we reject it? The representation of science and medical information on social media has erupted in recent times – in large part thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Along the way, misinformation has come to the forefront. Why do people believe misinformation, where does it come from and what damage is it doing? These questions are not new, however in the modern world (pre- and post-Covid) they are in the public conversation more than ever. Tim believes that the spread of misinformation is one of the greatest challenges of today – sparking an ‘Infodemic’. The ideological nature of misinformation has also grown in recent times. Whilst Tim contends that it has always been there, it has become more dominant with the ever-growing popularity of social media. Social media is not going anywhere. As such, we must learn to live with it, and employ its use in such a way to be proactive and productive. Tim talks to the positives of social media, in particular its ability to decrease feelings of social isolation as well as its entertainment and information value. However, the current information environment rewards extremism, polarisation, and the spread of misinformation. SO, IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE SYMPTOM, THE DISEASE OR BOTH...? As Tim explains, it is all the above. How can healthcare professionals move towards a positive use of social media? Tim believes engagement is constructive and he favours healthcare professionals and peak medical bodies being on social media. Finally, Tim addresses the shifting landscape when it comes to healthcare engaging on social media. Tim believes that clinicians can (and should) share valuable content online. For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast
Reuben Strayer and Duncan Grossman discuss all things airway. Specifically, how the introduction of many airway technologies at once–some of them revolutionary, some not–have confused our airway strategy. So how can we incorporate the best of these technologies into contemporary airway management? THEY BEGIN WITH A BIG QUESTION – WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE? There are many options, including direct or video laryngoscopy as well as multiple versions of the laryngoscope blade itself. As Reuben explains, all these terms can be confusing and are often imprecise. Direct laryngoscopy clears a line of sight between one’s eyes and the glottis to visual it. This is unlike video laryngoscopy which uses a camera to visual the glottis. The next distinction is the type of blade – standard geometry versus hyperangulated blades. The differences between - and the varying uses of – standard geometry blades and hyperangulated blades are discussed. This discussion will clear up confusion about the nomenclature for all clinicians. The long and the short of it is that a camera can be attached to both standard geometry and hyperangulated blades allowing video laryngoscopy with both. It depends on the clinician’s comfort and training as to which one you will reach for. However, using a hyperangulated blade does make viewing the cords easier. The hyperangulated blade also requires less force, which is favourable in instances of cervical spine injuries or tongue masses. But, there are downfalls, and Reuben takes us through what to expect. The standard geometry blade on the other hand is faster, and easier to utilise suction. It is also easier to use a bougie when using a standard geometry blade. Moreover, the standard blade video laryngoscopy uses the same skill set as a direct laryngoscopy and this is beneficial for new learners. WITH ALL THE NEW, WONDERFUL TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE TO US, SHOULD TRAINEES BOTHER LEARNING TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES? Reuben contends they should for a few reasons. The first being that technology is fragile and can let you down at any moment. The second being that standard geometry video laryngoscopy contains within it the older technique – just with the addition of a video. Therefore, the way to get good at direct laryngoscopy is by getting very, very good at video laryngoscopy. Jump onboard and join Reuben and Duncan as they provide a masterclass on airways. For more like this, head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast
Please note this episode was recorded in November 2018 as part of Brain, a CICM Neuro Special Interest Group meeting click here Terry O’Brien presents the evidence and recommendations around the use of continuous EEG. EEG is an old technology, first introduced clinically in the 1920s. As we move deeper into the 21st century, Terry argues that this technology should be brought to the forefront in ICUs around the world. EEG works in a simple manner. Electrodes are placed on the scalp, measuring the potential difference between two points, and displaying the trends over time. EEG has a high resolution, providing information that no other investigative modality can provide. How does this apply to intensive care? Continuous EEG (much like continuous ECG or oxygen saturation monitors), Terry insists, has a place in the monitoring of critically ill patients. It exists as the best way to diagnose a seizure and can provide information regarding treatment effect. Moreover, EEG gives real time information about depth of sedation and prognostication. Although EEG is standard care in ICU in the United States, Australia is lagging behind. Patients frequently seize in the ICU, particularly after a brain insult or injury. To make matters more complicated, these patients are often sedated, and hooked up to ventilators and other monitoring equipment. This makes the seizure hard to appreciate. If seizures are unrecognised, the treatment cannot be targeted. This leads to under or over treatment. Terry likens treating seizures in the ICU without EEG monitoring to treating cardiac arrhythmias without an ECG. Depth electrode recording (in addition to scalp electrode recordings) have been used with interesting results. Looking harder proves to find more seizure activity with the more intense monitoring. Terry describes this as the tip of the iceberg. Does the rest of the iceberg matter? Seizures have been correlated with increased mortality. Seizures may be a prognostic marker in patients with brain injury. There may also be severe long-term morbidity in those patients who experience prolonged non-convulsive seizures in the ICU. Randomised controlled trials are difficult to perform in this group due to difficulties with ethical questions. This means the majority of evidence is circumstantial. With that being said, the evidence seems to suggest the in-hospital mortality is less for certain populations with the use of continuous EEG without adding significantly to length of hospital stay. Experimental data also shows promise, as Terry explains. He elaborates on the most recent studies looking at continuous EEG. Who should get continuous EEG, and how should it be used. Terry proposes the continuous EEG be used in the diagnosis of non-convulsive seizures and the treatment of non-convulsive seizures in the comatose patient – especially in the first 48 hours. Similarly, the use of EEG should be prioritised in patients with a history of seizures. In doing so, Terry believes that ICU patient outcomes and survival will be increased. Please note this episode was recorded in November 2018 as part of Brain, a CICM Neuro Special Interest Group meeting.
Alex Rowell, Fahad Ashraf, Greg Selkirk & Luke Torre continue their discussion stroke management. In this talk they tackle imaging and treatment of stroke, including mechanical thrombectomy. Imaging is an enormous part of the process of stroke management. It is critical for diagnosis and stratifying patient treatments. The first imaging modality to order is a non-contrast CT head. As Greg explains, not everyone with neurological symptoms has an ischemic stroke. Other diagnoses to consider include Todd’s paresis and intracranial haemorrhage. The CT will also inform the clinician how much established infarct is present and give an indication of where the clot is. Moreover, carotid angiogram should be used to assess the intracranial vessels. It also allows one to plan the fastest way to remove a clot, should it be present. Transradial and transfemoral thrombectomy are two options. The imaging provides the clinician with valuable information about the most efficient and fastest way of reaching the clot for removal. Lastly, the team discuss CT perfusion. A word of warning. This exists as a problem-solving test. It is a good idea to interpret with caution! EVIDENTLY, GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND THE AVAILABILITY OF IMAGING RESOURCES RESTRICTS IMAGING. Where CT scanning is available, this modality combined with a thorough history and assessment of deficits can lead the clinician towards the most appropriate treatment options – including thrombolysis. The question then becomes, does the use of thrombolysis in a rural or remote location preclude the eventual use of thrombectomy? As Greg explains, thrombolysis works well in conjunction with thrombectomy. Receiving thrombolysis does not preclude the use of thrombectomy and does offer advantages. Furthermore, Greg will provide a detailed description on the procedure of thrombectomy, including the various methods used and the care of the patient after a thrombectomy. He touches on the use of general anaesthesia during the procedure, as well as antiplatelet therapy post-intervention. Thrombectomies are not without risks. Complications include perforation of blood vessels. From a neurological perspective, Fahad describes the use of repeat scanning to ensure the absence of any subsequent bleeding and the implications for ongoing medical therapy. Finally, the discussion concludes with a broader take on stroke services in general. This includes pre-hospital stroke awareness in the community, post stroke rehabilitation and neuroprotection measures. For more head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast Please see the webpage for the images referred to in this talk.
In this podcast, Alex Rowell, Fahad Ashraf, Greg Selkirk & Luke Torre review stroke management in 2022. Stroke management has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. In 2015, we proved the efficacy of mechanical thrombectomy. In 2018, we established evidence for mechanical thrombectomy beyond 6 hours in patients with favourable imaging. Moreover, there has been extensive research into dual anti-platelet therapy to prevent recurring stroke in minor stroke patients. From a technical point of view, there has been an explosion of the number of suction catheters and stent retrievers on the market. This has made mechanical thrombectomy safer & has allowed us to chase distal clots. So in 2022, it is not just that we are doing thrombectomy, but… we are doing it better. AND AS A RESULT, WE ARE IMPROVING PATIENT OUTCOMES. Next, Fahad & Greg discuss what the patient journey looks like in 2022 from being out in the community, to receiving treatment. They discuss how we have streamlined the process - including creating general awareness of stroke in the public, implementing screening tests like FAST & coordinating with emergency first responders. The challenge in modern day stroke treatment is how to determine which patients get thrombectomy, which patients get thrombolysis & which patients are given conservative treatment? Greg Selkirk suggests that there are five main factors: __ __ Tune in to a #CodaPodcast by Alex Rowell, Fahad Ashraf, Greg Selkirk & Luke Torre. An informative & interesting update on stroke management in 2022. Finally, for more like this head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast
In the Emergency Management of Chronic Pain podcast, Duncan Grossman and Reuben Strayer discuss how and why patients with chronic pain present to the ED. Managing patients with chronic pain is challenging and often it feels like these patients present to the ED during every shift. But… is it as common as it feels? Statistics suggest that 20% of American adults suffer from chronic pain. WHY? WELL, OPIOIDS ARE BOTH THE DISEASE AND THE CURE. Opioids are effective for managing acute pain. However, when they are used for (even) more than a couple of days they can start to cause pain. THEREFORE, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE SPECTRUM OF OPIOID BENEFIT VS HARM. Reuben and Duncan discuss a framework that accounts for the relationship between chronic pain and opioid use. Noting that each patient presents a unique challenge. Take for example, the patient who is on daily, low dose opioids but is otherwise unaffected by their pain medication. Or, the patient who has chronic pain but doesn’t take opioids. We need to be careful here as these patients can be more susceptible to developing an addiction from prescribed opioids due to their ongoing pain. What about the patient who takes opioids daily but is buying them off the street... Reuben takes us through some strategies for helping all of these patients. One such strategy is to talk to the prescribers. We need to help these patients by encouraging their prescribers to take the reins and to move the needle from opioid harm to opioid benefit. Tune in as Duncan Grossman grills Reuben Strayer on chronic pain in patients, how to manage them and how to help them. For more like this, head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast
In this podcast, Roger Harris sits down for a second time with South African Emergency Physician, Victoria Stephen (Tori). Tori delves deeper into her first hand experience of the frightening political unrest and violence which erupted during the third wave of Covid-19 in Johannesburg in mid-2021. Managing Covid cases and gunshot wounds simultaneously was incredibly challenging both professionally and personally. In the midst of the violence, Victoria made the courageous decision to leave the safety of her home after curfew and to drive through the riots to get to the hospital. Tori was not rostered on at the hospital that night, but she felt an overwhelming need to help her junior staff manage the chaos that was unfolding. It was a critical and intensely dangerous time in South Africa. Reflecting on this experience, Tori emphasises the importance of a strong foundation of healthcare worker wellbeing. She identifies the need first to look after ourselves before we can look after others. Tori speaks candidly about how she managed her own wellbeing through the three waves of Covid in South Africa. This included personally seeing a psychologist to help her process the situation, a regular exercise routine, meditating, and listening to music. In fact, Tori started a ‘survival’ playlist that other clinicians from all over the country listened and contributed to! We’ve included a link to the playlist here. Ultimately, it is difficult to stay passionate about a job that is physically and emotionally exhausting. Staying focused on clinical medicine helps. But at the end of the day, healthcare is a tough job and it takes its toll! For more like this, head to our #CodaPodcast page
Trauma Resuscitation and the Covid-19 Pandemic in South Africa In this podcast, Roger Harris interviews Victoria Stephen about her experience as an emergency physician in a regional South African hospital. Sadly, trauma resuscitation is a big part of working in Emergency Medicine in South Africa. Blunt force assaults and stab wounds are regular presentations. However, July 2021 was unlike anything Doctor Victoria Stephen had ever experienced. In July, South Africa was deep into its' third wave of Covid-19 infections. Vaccination rates were low and there was a huge burden of Covid patients in the Emergency Department. The ICU was completely overwhelmed, making this by far the worst of the pandemic that they had seen to date. To compound this, piped oxygen levels were running desperately low. The hospital relied on daily oxygen deliveries to keep Covid patients alive. Moreover, to add to the challenge, political unrest broke out and quickly escalated to riots with extreme violence across South Africa. At the time the violence erupted, Tori had over 120 Covid patients in the hospital. Added to this the Trauma resuscitation was managing approximately 34 patients with gunshot wounds per day. With just four doctors working at night and six doctors working during the day, Tori’s team scrambled to manage an overwhelming number of high acuity patients. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER CAREER, TORI FOUND HERSELF FRIGHTENED FOR HER SAFETY. Having grown up in South Africa, Tori was no stranger to avoiding danger but this felt very out of control. The thought of managing a busy emergency department inundated with trauma patients in the middle of the covid pandemic is frightening enough for most of us, but to do so in such a resource-limited environment with so few nurses and doctors is truly incredible. Tori believes Emergency Medicine training in South Africa prepares the team to function under such pressure. She believes that the team knows that the lack of resources means they must all pull together. Their training is diverse enough that they have the mental and clinical skills to step up and of course as an ultrasound geek Tori adds that EFAST scanning has a big role to play. Tori is a humble but inspirational clinician on the frontline of providing care in a volatile environment and she believes we can all learn something from her experience. Tune in to a compelling conversation with one of our favourites. Trauma Resuscitation and the Covid-19 Pandemic in South Africa Finally, for more like this head to our podcast page #CodaPodcast