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EEPD Volume 1.  Discussion Documents


J. Bees in Bonnet


J01.  Fallacies and Downright Lies (Full article in Preparation)

  • Untruths found too often in Medicine, e.g. 
    1. You are uninsured for 6 weeks after a Caesarean Section!
      For the truth see http://www.fawdry.info/eepd/24_lea/b_opleaf/Driving.doc
    2. It is dangerous to use mobile phones in petrol stations, aircraft and hospitals. As far as I have been able to find out, there is no clear evidence for this.
      Lots of people forget to turn their mobile phones off in such situations but there has been no evidence of an increase of petrol station fires, no aircraft accident has been documented as having been caused by mobile phones.  Indeed when escorting a patient on a small plane (5 people only), while taking off, the paramedic was using his personal mobile phone to arrange for an ambulance to meet us when we landed (although I am told that it is worth turning off the phone a) to stop irritating extra noises when the pilot is using his radio, and b) the mobile system gets confused by being able to interact with too many different phone masts).
      According to a literature review published in Journal of Public Health 2006 28(4):299-303, there is no significant risk from using mobile phones in hospitals as long as they are more than 1 metre away from sensitive medical electronic devices (e.g. in ITU or operating theatres). Therefore, there is no reasonable reason for banning the use of a mobile phone in the corridor or a side ward or a day room, as suggested by Myerson and Mitchell (BMJ 2003 March 1 326:460-1).  Naturally, if used in an open ward one needs to be careful not to hold loud and long conversations to the irritation of other patients. One cannot help feeling that the real reason for banning mobile phones is to push everyone into using the expensive hospital systems.


J02.   Jargon or Simple English?  (Full article in Preparation)

  • “All Professions are a conspiracy against the Public!” (George Bernard Shaw)
  • Everywhere in the health service there is so much hot air talk about the need for better communication skills, yet everywhere we look, health care staff use jargon when simple English would take no longer and could so easily be substituted, e.g. “4X / day” instead of “q.d.s.”, “Nocte” instead of “Nightly”,  “p.r.n.” instead of “When needed”, “Elective” instead of “Planned”, 
  • and the worst of all for professionally-embedded patronising condescension doctor use regarding the reason patients need their help, the following: 
  • “Presenting Complaints” instead of “Presenting Problems/Needs”,  
  • “Complaining of” instead of “Troubled by” etc

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