EppsNet Archive: Surgery

Signing Your Life Away

I had surgery last week to remove a basal cell carcinoma. It’s a common outpatient procedure but the consent form I was given to sign when I checked in listed out all the worst-case scenarios: I might be disfigured, I might bleed to death, etc. After signing it, I took the form back up to the nurse and said “This information is so alarming that I changed my mind about doing the surgery. See you later.” “Ha ha,” she chuckled. “You’re signing your life away.” “Yes . . . maybe you’re not supposed to say that.” Read more →

The Eternal Footman Held My Coat and Snickered

Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a longtime fixture on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending, died after complications from gallbladder surgery, according to his office. He was 77. The Democratic congressman recently underwent scheduled laparoscopic surgery at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to remove his gallbladder. The procedure was “routine minimally invasive surgery,” but doctors “hit his intestines,” a source close to the late congressman told CNN. — CNN.com OMG I HAD THAT SAME OPERATION I COULD HAVE DIED!!! On a lighter note, how ironic is it that the president loses a pro-ObamaCare vote due to medical error in a government-run hospital? Read more →

Setting Expectations

A family member had surgery recently and had to sign a consent form: I have been advised that all surgery involves general risks, including but not limited to bleeding, infection, nerve or tissue damage and rarely, cardiac arrest, death or other serious bodily injury. I acknowledge that no guarantees or assurances have been made as to the results that may be obtained. And so on . . . Don’t say you weren’t warned! Medical professionals are very good at setting realistic expectations with the customer, whereas in IT we take customers into projects with glib assurances and wishful thinking. I wonder if we could make a practice of saying to customers even something as simple as this: “This project — like all projects — has a number of possible outcomes, and not all of them are good. Let’s go over some of the more likely scenarios . . .” Thus… Read more →