26 November 2013

In Practice, MD ~ "Routine" Medical Miracles!

MGH primary care internist Dr Suzanne Koven writes in her Globe column In Practice that Thanks to advances in medicine, life goes on...
"Many years ago, a little girl was rushed to a rural county hospital from summer camp for an emergency appendectomy. As a teenager, she received antibiotics for a bad case of pneumonia. When she grew up and was about to deliver her first child, fetal monitors indicated that the baby’s heart rate had slowed, and a Cesarian section was performed urgently. In middle age, she underwent laparoscopic repair of an injured knee. The little girl, the teenager, the young mother, the middle aged woman, was -- is -- me. My medical history isn’t remarkable -- and that’s the point. Like most people alive today, I’ve been the fortunate recipient of treatments now so routine that we take for granted they haven’t always been available. Yet, a century ago, or even less, I could easily have died at summer camp or succumbed to pneumonia; my baby and I might not have lived through that pregnancy; and if I had survived to middle age, I would have done so limping and in pain."
And that is simply epic, not a miracle at all but the glorious consequence of technological progress and human rationality applied to healthcare.

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