Friday, March 1, 2013

Destiny of the Republic

Here is a fascinating read titled Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. The assassination of President James Garfield is examined from a different perspective: how his doctors mismanaged a non-fatal bullet wound, ultimately leading to his death. Despite well known medical advances such as surgical antisepsis by Dr. Joseph Lister and the germ theory of disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur, many American physicians, including those treating James Garfield, openly opposed these advances and refused to modify their practices. The result for James Garfield was tragic.

Even in the era of modern medicine, we still have physicians, surgeons and nurses who resist infection prevention practice change even when driven by sound science. This is not simply my personal observation, the phenomenon has been described in an article titled How Active Resistors and Organizational Constipators Affect Health-Care Acquired Infection Prevention Efforts.

In the end, evidence based medicine trumps anecdotes and a "this is just the way we do things around here'' mentality.

Quite simply,  you can't stop progress.

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