Category: Tales of Survival

Clinical Correlations

Tales of Survival: Night Float

By: Margot Hedlin

Emergencies happen slowly sometimes. His organs were shutting down – first the liver, its failure evident from his skin’s jaundiced hue; then he couldn’t protect his airway, so they intubated him to make sure he’d keep breathing. That afternoon he’d started passing blood with his bowel movements – lots of blood – and the colonoscopy showed countless excoriations.…

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Facing the Culture of Silence in Medicine

By Ofole Mgbako, MD

We are at a crossroads. The recent movement of courageous Americans, mostly women, sharing their stories and facing down their abusers, has forced the reexamination of a culture of silence that drives rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment into the shadows. …

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Tales of Survival: Preserving Empathy for the Caretaker Who Can’t Let Go

By Scarlett Olivia Murphy, MD

Peer Reviewed

During my recent ICU rotation, I witnessed complicated acts of love between patients and their caretakers as they navigated end-of-life decisions.  I observed many individuals struggle to find the right balance between preserving and palliating their loved one, and I watched patients in turn sacrifice their own comfort to keep their families happy.  …

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Tales of Survival: Do No Harm

By Derek Moriyama, MD

He stared blankly at the ceiling. “Mr. K can you close your eyes?” my attending asked, speaking slowly and clearly, making sure that the patient could hear every word.

There was no response; his gaze remained unrelentingly fixed on the square panels above him, as if they were shooting stars through the night sky.…

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Tales of Survival: Red Sox Rivalry

By Kate Otto Chebly

Peer Reviewed

Mr. Williams came to us as so many patients do.

“I just fell down,” he repeated, grumpily, his snaggletooth resting on his cracked, pursed lips.

Our team of eight white coats had descended upon him with rapid fire CIWA questions during morning rounds—the Emergency Department’s workup suggested his fall was secondary to intoxication—but he wasn’t giving up a single hit.…

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