The ACS Review Dinner is an important part of gathering information on your trauma program. Many of the principal players in your program are present, and the reviewers will have specific questions for most. Although the reviewers may meet many informally before dinner begins, it may be difficult to keep all the names and titles straight.
Good signs at the table are very helpful. Here are key points on providing the best signage possible:
The sign must be large. Compare the size of the sign in the photo to the 8.5×11 inch document next to it.
The font size should be large. This allows the reviewers to read name and title from across the room.
The same information should be on both sides. Everyone can see their own name so they know where to sit without turning every sign around.
The sign in the photo is a perfect example of what a good placeholder should look like.
I’ve written about motorcycle helmet laws in the past, and the research that supports their use. Unfortunately, not everyone buys into others telling them about the safety aspects. This article hit the news wires on Sunday:
ONONDAGA, N.Y. – Police say a motorcyclist participating in a protest ride against helmet laws in upstate New York died after he flipped over the bike’s handlebars and hit his head on the pavement.
The accident happened Saturday afternoon in the town of Onondaga, in central New York near Syracuse.
State troopers tell The Post-Standard of Syracuse that 55-year-old Philip A. Contos of Parish, N.Y., was driving a 1983 Harley Davidson with a group of bikers who were protesting helmet laws by not wearing helmets.
Troopers say Contos hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed. The bike spun out of control, and Contos toppled over the handlebars. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Troopers say Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet.
The bikers objected to laws that would require them to wear a helmet while riding. This was the organizer’s reaction to the death:
Christinea Rathbun, president of the Syracuse ABATE chapter, said the biker’s death would not affect the group’s stance on helmet laws. "Absolutely not,“ she said. "It’s not going to stop us protesting our right to wear a helmet or not wear a helmet. It’s your own risk.”
I understand that some riders want the ability to choose whether to wear their helmet. However, I have a hard time believing that Mr. Contos woke up that morning and would have chosen to forego wearing his helmet knowing that he would die later that day if he did.
Standard or universal precautions are essential in trauma. They serve two purposes: keeping you safe from exposure to body fluids, and keeping you from contaminating any open wounds. Unfortunately, they are not used as “universally” as they should be.
I’ve heard a number of excuses for not wearing them:
I don’t have time to put them on
They’re so hot!
It’s just a kid, I have nothing to worry about
All wrong! It takes less than 30 seconds to put them on. And yes, they may be a little warm, but if you have time to notice, then your trauma activations are taking too long. Anyone, including children, may have diseases you don’t want to share.
There are two major reasons that are legitimate and must be addressed:
They are not conveniently placed. The deeper in the trauma room they are, the less likely anyone is to wear them (see photo). Place them just outside the door to your trauma bay in plain sight.
Their use is not enforced. Assign specific people the role of PPE police. Emergency physicians and surgeons are optimal, but the charge nurse or others in authority positions are fine.
Develop a culture where the expectation is that everyone who enters the trauma bay, no matter what their rank, must be wearing their protective gear. Your philosophy should be “it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.”
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