Surgical Fires — Calling Doctor Semmelweis

Dr. Semmelweis is no longer with us, surgical fires are. Laser surgery is at times the source of ignition of fires in operating rooms.  Laser surgery and Dr. Semmelweis’ efforts had and still have similar consequences, good and bad ones.  They save lives, quite a few on account of laser surgery, but vastly more, perhaps as many as or more than half a billion in the case of Dr. Semmelweis’ efforts.  Unfortunately, they also caused and cause injury and death, very rarely in the case of laser surgery, perhaps never in the case of Dr. Semmelweis but once.  What he discovered killed him.  It made him a martyr who died for what proved to be one of the greatest discoveries in medical history.

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (July 1, 1818 – August 13, 1865) is no longer with us. He is not even remembered much for what he did for women, families and humanity. It is unfathomable why he is no longer remembered much, but perhaps that is because the feminists – with their virtually absolute control of what is being recorded in written history – had collectively decided that Dr. Semmelweis did not deserve being remembered for what he did for women, that he should be dissed for who he was and is, a member of the Club of Dead White Men (CDWM).

Perhaps the feminists decided that, instead, one of Dr. Semmelweis’ contemporaries, one from the feminists’ ranks, a member of the CDWW (Club of Dead White Women, auxiliary of the CDWM) should be remembered for who she was and what she did. Who knows, and what difference does it make? It only matters that now the world (at least the parts under the influence of ‘herstory’) eagerly chose the name and fame of the selected and to-be-promoted member of the CDWW that considered to be in need of promoting.

Oh, you don’t know who that woman was?

»Florence NightingaleOMRRCDStJ (/ˈflɒrəns ˈntɪŋɡl/; 12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was an English social reformer [that is in this case a euphemism for feminist —WHS] and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.

Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers.[3] She gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.[4][5]

While recent commentators have asserted Nightingale’s achievements in the Crimean War were exaggerated by the media at the time, critics agree on the decisive importance of her follow-up achievements in professionalising nursing roles for women.[6….«

Wikipedia states about Dr. Semmelweis,

»Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[Note 1] (German: [ɪˈɡnaːts ˈzɛml̩vaɪs]HungarianSemmelweis Ignác Fülöp; 1 July 1818 – 13 August 1865) was a Hungarian physician of ethnic-Germanancestry,[2][3][4] now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”,[2] Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetricalclinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital‘s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards.[5] He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.

Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist‘s research, practiced and operated, using hygienic methods, with great success. In 1865, Semmelweis was committed to an asylum, where he died at age 47 of pyaemia, after being beaten by the guards, only 14 days after he was committed….«

I recommend the reading of Dr. Semmelweis’ biography at the website dedicated to it.  It states,

»Semmelweis introduced hand washing with chlorinated lime solutions for interns who had performed autopsies. This immediately reduced the incidence of fatal puerperal fever from about 10 percent (range 5–30 percent) to about 1–2 percent.«

Let’s see. About as many women gave birth to children each year then as do now. There were fewer women then, but they gave birth about four to six times as often per year than do today’s women. Roughly 70 million children were born each year then, and roughly just as many are being born each year now.

Dr. Semmelweis’ findings and recommendations for hygienic practices when attending child births, notwithstanding additional refinements by other members of the CDWM, spread throughout the medical community and practitioners of midwifery of the world and soon came to spare the lives of perhaps four to six million women each year.

That is no mean feat. Surely it measures up to the value, worth and appreciation of the legacy created by Florence Nightingale, whether that is exaggerated by her supporters and fanciers or not.

Was it fair that Dr. Semmelweis was beaten to death by the guards in the asylum into which he was thrown for daring to be right but politically incorrect?

Was it fair that Florence Nightingale was being lionized for her attempts to contribute to the health and comforts of mankind, even though it may at best have been of equal worth as that of Dr. Semmelweis’ contribution?

Can the difference in outcomes of their respective personal fortunes be considered to be an unavoidable consequence of despicable and justifiably-vilified oppression of women by the big bad patriarchy? It is more logically a manifestation of not only female superiority but of female supremacy. Nevertheless, today’s women live on average about ten percent longer lives than men do and are considered, by male and female feminists alike, to be the victims of men’s oppression.  Go figure, but that is one of the aspects of female supremacy.

There is another contemporary of Florence Nightingale, Henry Dunant.

He most definitely got what he deserved.  He received the first Nobel Peace Prize and much respect and fame for his important contribution to improving humanity’s health and comfort, and he should have, as there is no doubt that his contributions were far greater and outrank, by far, those made by Florence Nightingale. Why do I even bore anyone with mentioning that? Everyone knows what Henry Dunant did and what he brought about, right?……

Nevertheless, even when Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Red Cross and what it stands for, is brought to bear in that comparison, the public’s interest in Florence Nightingale, someone who was in comparison a union organizer who gave British nurses professional status, outranks public concern over surgical fires and for Dr,Semmelweis and Henry Dunant, thanks to female supremacy.

Times are changing, … Fast forward…. and now they are better, more just, more equitable and, believe it or not, “more equal” for women.  At least, that is what I take away from this article published by the National Post (2017 12 18), describing the rewards to be had for the medical profession’s failure to deliver good quality and safety of service:

National Post 
Doctors’ association warns of surgical patients suddenly catching fire
The last thing anyone would expect when they go into surgery is to catch fire: ‘Oops!’ is clearly insufficient’

That article mentions instances selected out of 54 incidents of surgical fires covered by the indicated review. It does not mention how big a portion of all surgical fires that occurred the 54 incidents examined represents, but it provides an estimate of that number:

“Patient safety experts say that, if 54 cases made it to litigation at the CMPA, there were at least 10 times as many cases nationally, perhaps more.”

How many more? No one said, and the article didn’t either. Still, I read it with interest, such as this incident,

»In the U. S, as many as 650 operating room fires are reported in each year, but the true number is likely higher because half of the states don’t have mandatory reporting.

“What can you say to a patient having a skin lesion excised under monitored anesthesia care ( MAC) who suffers severe burns to the neck and face from a surgical-site fire caused by unnecessary supplemental nasal cannula oxygen leaking under drapes and towels into the surgical field where electrocautery was used? ‘ Oops!’ is clearly insufficient,” Dr. John Eichhorn, of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and Medical Center wrote in 2013 in an editorial in the journal Anesthesiology.

Two years ago, a Seattle woman was awarded $ 30 million in damages when, similar to the Canadian case, an endotracheal tube caught fire inside her throat during surgery for polyps on her vocal cords. She’s now unable to speak or breathe on her own.«

Those 54 incidents of surgical fires mentioned in the article by the National Post, about a tenth or perhaps less of all surgical fires that occurred lately in Canada, are being made more spectacular than they are significant.  They are not even the tip of the iceberg of all fatalities caused by medical services in a single year.

Perhaps “Gender preferences in the ethical and equitable settlements of damage claims due to surgical fires” would be a good subject for a master’s thesis in hospital administration, but I wonder why the job-safety standards are so low and apparently not being monitored well enough to cause that many fires to happen. I wonder even more whether any of the settlements due to failure of job-safety standards and their monitoring received by men injured on the job ever were that high and how high they are on average compared to those awarded to women under comparable circumstances.

It would not take all that long to analyze those cases. At least those injuries happen by far not as often with women as they do with men on the job. Men’s job fatalities happen about 18 to 19 times more often than women’s job fatalities.

Most people work, but not all people do. Relatively fewer people go fishing or hunting, and far larger numbers of people don’t. Almost everyone spends at least some time being in the hospital, many for surgeries, and virtually no one, ever, escapes being in the hospital at least once, when he is being born.

There are severe sentences for those who fish out of season, for hunting without a licence or in the wrong zone or, heaven forbid, even for fishing for trout with a worm instead of a fly. A sentence for the latter offence, say, 14 days in jail, is often far more severe than those routinely handed down to women who killed their children or the fathers of their children.

Were there ever any such sentences for any employer who caused the death or disabling injury of one of his employees, by forcing him to work under conditions that did not meet job-safety standards? Were any of the operators in the medical industry ever jailed for any of the upward from 150,000 annual fatalities experienced by the victims of faulty medical practices in the U.S. and Canada? Consider causes of deaths caused through faulty practices and errors of the medical-services industry. You may think that the problem does not occur where you live, but take a look at this:

»Each year, an estimated 10,000 patients die in Canadian hospitals as a result of staff errors, while a further 20,000 die from “nonpreventable adverse events,” such as hospital infections and unexpected drug complications. Some research indicates that another 20,000, give or take, may die of unforeseen or preventable causes while under care outside hospitals.

These staggering figures are extrapolated from data collected in the United States, Britain and Australia, but are widely accepted as reasonable approximations. In 1999 the U.S. Institute of Medicine estimated that up to 98,000 Americans a year die in hospital due to medical errors, and another million are injured. A 2000 study found that adverse events cause patient harm in ten percent of hospital admissions in Britain, amounting to 850,000 times a year.«
Tragedy of Errors, Reader’s Digest, Canadian Edition, Dec. 2003, p. 76 (Originally published Dec.30, 2002 in MacLean’s)

In case you have trouble doing the addition of the numbers, that adds up to about 50,000 fatalities a year that are caused by the Canadian health care system. Obviously, the situation in the U.S. is very similar.If you are concerned, as eventually you too will be at risk (if you are not already), there is more about all of that here: “Neglected to Death“.

When our attention is drawn to just one issue, just one specific sort of failing of the medical industry that puts human lives at risk, that will draw our attention away from that there are many more of those failings, from that many of those are more prevalent and far more often deadly. Intended or not, the fear of death by surgical fire evokes as much or more empathy and compassion than do more than 150,000 fatalities each year in the U.S. and Canada from other forms of medical neglect, errors, maltreatment and neglect.

We must make choices, but the choices we make are being influenced by the self interests of the media and a host of interested parties, groups, organizations and individuals. Those interested parties are involved in an intense competition for the stimulation of our compassion and to point it into the right direction, designed to make us willing to part with as much from our financial resources as we can possibly spare, so that they can make a living and create wealth and power for themselves. As of now, that works well.

The producers and promoters of cat food and dog food hold much greater sway over what the masses spend their money on than do the parties that try to make the masses aware of that medical services operate neither with maximum efficiency nor with maximum concern for the safety of human lives. That is how the priorities will remain for those respective issues, for as long as ever-increasing numbers of people would rather have cats and dogs than children.

Are surgical fires as important as is the UN's vision of the future world population

The UN’s vision of the future world population

Our emotions and fundamental desires have become resources to be exploited for a variety of goals, of which some rank very high on the priority list, for example: population control to achieve population reduction. China brought that about through brute force. The application of the full force of a totalitarian regime to that end is seen by most as inhumane. More humane methods are not only much more appealing but far more effective, such as the creation of a preference for cats and dogs over procreating and over having one’s own children to care for, to love and to raise.

Are surgical fires as important as are Total Fertility Rate Trends? (e. g.: in Angola, China Germany)

Total Fertility Rate Trends
Angola, China Germany

The perception of the exercise of “free will” and “freedom of choice” caused the Western developed nations to become far more effective than China was in bringing about population reduction. Not much force was needed to bring that about in the West, nothing more than a bit of peer pressure and punitive taxation for families with children, two parents, and only one income earner.  Such punitive taxation is a routine ploy for exerting downward pressure on birth rates, somewhat counteracted by promoting single-parent families on welfare whose incomes increase the more children they have, while the non-resident fathers are being taxed heavily for daring to “father” children.  All it took was to motivate people to make the “right” choices and making them believe that they made them freely.

What would Dr. Semmelweis, Henry Dunant and Florence Nightingale say about all of that? How do the compassion and the drive for giving migrants from underdeveloped nations longer lives of better quality fit the goal of reducing the world population? Perhaps that is just the start of a massive re-education program designed to wean migrants from their urge to have children of their own and, instead, to make them, too, appreciate and cultivate a preference for cats and dogs.

All of that leaves one to wonder why surgical fires are an issue worth paying much attention to, when far more important failings of the medical industry receive little or hardly any attention.  Is that by popular demand, and is that, in turn, driven by the will of the people or by the will of some other interested parties?

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