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Arment Dietrich

“Operation” is no game

By: Arment Dietrich | February 19, 2009 | 
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I’m guilty as charged. I love social network sites, Facebook, LinkedIn; I am on them for both my personal and professional life. But how far is going too far regarding the control social networks have on your life? Facebook is now telling us when we include content or pictures it’s on there for good, even if you delete it – is that right, legal? So, if I throw a cupcake at someone I don’t like through Facebook’s “food fight application” and then we become better friends I cannot take it back – devastating, sorry friends.

However, on a more serious note, one of the newest social network craves is Twitter. Businesses are using the unique network to share and grow ideas, which is proving to be very valuable. Twitter’s audience is increasing so much its found its way into the operating room. I read an article on CNN.com about a surgeon tweeting in the middle of a kidney operation. This is fascinating, as the surgeon found out a tumor was larger than he thought when he went to remove it; naturally, the doctor was taken by surprise and needed to make a game-time call. Remove the entire kidney, or was there another way?
 
Today people put more about themselves on social network sites than you can imagine. This particular surgeon was able to tweet with another doctor who experienced the same game-time call and in the end the patient was able to keep their kidney – tumor less.

So you are telling me the next time you go to the emergency room and explain your injury, the doctor may, a) attend to you right away or b) sign into twitter and see how other doctors are handling your injury.

Do patients need to agree for doctors to discuss their medical terms over the Internet?

I really do think this is great, but I think they need to make sure all angels are covered; I can smell a law suit right around the corner.

Now thinking about it, I am sort of a victim of this. When I had my ACL repaired in April of 2006 the doctor discovered that my meniscus was also torn and that I had other tears in my cartilage surrounding my knee ligaments. The doctor had never come a crossed the rare cartilage tears, but knew of a doctor in a nearby town that just got a tool patented to fix cartilage tears – in the olden days doctors used dissolving staples that did not always work in the long run. So, knocked out, knee wide open, my parents told me the doctor was on the phone with another local doctor instructing my doctor on how to use the tool – crazy.

Result –
Perfectly repaired ACL, meniscus, cartilage, in surgery for six hours – quadrillion dollars (parents money, sorry mom and pop, I’ve hung up the shoes don’t you worry), phoning a friend – priceless.

1 comments
Molli
Molli

That freaks me out. I think I would go to a doctor that knew what he was doing. If anything, he should run to a medical book or go on the Internet. Don't get me wrong, I love social networking sites, but tweeting during my surgery? I don't think so! If I ever need my appendix removed, I'm going to ask my Doc if he's a tweeter.