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Cats' Corners: the little HOUSE in the woods....
Where House is NEVER safe...
House: 4.08 You Don't Want To Know--a few observations 
21st-Nov-2007 09:55 am
Interesting episode, which I'll sum up for myself by pointing out that if the PPTH staff would simply stop drinking coffee they'd all be a lot healthier....

Six years ago, my mother went to breakfast with a friend, who requested decaf coffee.  Forty-five minutes later, she was on her way, via ambulance, to the hospital--where she spent two days in the ICU.  Because she'd been given the wrong coffee.  She was allergic to caffeine.  Good thing 13 wasn't, right?  Can you say involuntary manslaughter, House?

And 13, spiking the coffee of an opioid-dependent patient with more narcotics--without knowing how much he'd already ingested?  Let's try repeating after me again--only it's your turn this time, 13.  Involuntary.  Manslaughter.  And much easier to prove, too, as I do believe that 13 might just have a vague idea that House takes frequent doses of opioids.  But maybe not, as she seems pretty clueless in the first-do-no-harm department anyway.

And... I won't even go into the sheer unlikelihood of anyone getting the wrong blood with all the current checks and re-checks in place.  And I'll also leave alone the illogic behind House's  experiment, except to say, one bag 'tainted'?  okay.  an entire lot tainted?  Uh... no.  Just... no.  [And I'll just throw in here, for fun, that AB is the rarest blood type, and that the blood bank of a Level 3 trauma center is highly unlikely to just toss a bag of the precious stuff at anyone who doesn't demonstrate a medical need for the transfusion.  Just sayin'.]

We all know that we'll never know how and why House knows Wilson's bloodtype.  Because that would require someone besides the viewers to actually remember that the line was spoken.  And if the writers can't remember Cuddy's several-episode-arc-of-desperation, mere months ago, to get pregnant, well then--it would be truly unreasonable of us to expect them to remember one 60-second scene, wouldn't it?   [Even Lisa Edelstein questioned this apparent oversight about Cuddy's character in this November 20 TV Guide interview.]

What I don't know--and yes, it's been frustrating me for over a week--is how the writers of last week's Ugly got away with insisting that we had to find that 'target rash' for a definitive dx of Lyme Disease.  Considering that the rash can disappear after just a few hours and that 50% or more of patients never get any rash at all, I'm wondering if the med consultants had gotten into the continuity monkeys' absinthe that week.  [ more info on Lyme here]

And by the way?  I'd figured out Huntington's chorea for 13 a mere eighteen minutes into the episode.  And sometimes I wish I had no medical backround at all, and could buy all these informational errors they are so freely disseminating. [more info on Huntington's here]

[And by the way, again.  I'm so proud of myself that I didn't even touch on the fact that following House's liver [and kidney and lung] biopsy, the inadvertent patient was not made to lie quietly on his right side for two hours. There are damned good reasons for this precaution. But i'm guessing that the immortal House is immune to all those scary little complications to which the rest of us are susceptible .  I mean, a transfusion reaction, a large overdose of narcotics, three painful and potentially dangerous invasive procedures, and a short time later even Wilson's aware that Super!House is --and I quote--"about to run out of here...."    Yup--real proud of myself that I haven't mentioned this wee disregard of medical reality! ;) ]

And... we need more Wilson. 

*** edited to include even more ranting, and also a link to a great Lisa Edelstein interview, 11.21.07 at 5:00pm.
23rd-Nov-2007 01:56 am (UTC)
Wow, lots of ranting!

It's got to be difficult to watch a medical drama while having medical knowledge. This may be a weird comparison but I'm a skydiver and when I see skydiving portrayed on television I just snicker. It is so far from reality it's funny.

Now I know you probably get ticked off every time they do things like you've listed but just try to remember it's a TELEVISION SHOW and they have to take some liberties when putting together these episodes. I sure wouldn't want their jobs. Not that I'm saying they should disregard real life scenarios and ignore the factual based medicine but sometimes I feel it needs to be done for dramatic measure.

Oh, and everyone is ripping 13 for drugging House but didn't she actually ask Cole what drug he used since she assumed it was him? Or am I mistaken here. Maybe that was just a cover, I don't know. It's almost like she was covering up for someone else by taking the blame. Just my thoughts.

Yes, I agree with you that House seemed to recover awfully quick for everything that was thrown at him but then they have to cram so much into one 45 minute episode., he has to recover quickly to do his thing. One of my coworkers just had a breast biopsy done and was still pretty sore 2 days later.

Feel free to rant any time. I also have a question...I'm attempting to write a fic involving medical issues and was wondering if you'd be willing to answer a few questions if they should arise. I'm doing research on the internet but some procedures are hard to locate. If you can't, I totally understand.

Off to read your latest fic now..... Oh, and hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! I just got home from the relative's house.
23rd-Nov-2007 05:36 am (UTC)
About the biopsy and soreness: keep in mind that House, as far as we know, is still throwing down handfuls of vicodin.
23rd-Nov-2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
That's a good point. It's easy to forget that he's always hopped up on an opioid based pain killer. Probably would take care of most pain.
I have noticed that they seemed to have backed off showing House popping pills every scene. Now it's limited to maybe once or twice an episode when we see him actually pop a pill.
23rd-Nov-2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
easy to forget that he's always hopped up on

accck! no, he's not 'hopped up'--ever [unless he supplements with, say, lsd. or morphine] and yeah, here comes kidsnurse, getting on her soapbox with yet another mini-lesson as regards chronic pain, and its treatment: the opioids [especially the milder ones, like Vicodin] are surprisingly ineffective for treatment of acute pain, especially when the patient is already opioid-dependent and has built up a tolerance over the years. so house's 'usual' doses of vicodin would have little to no effect upon the 'new', acute pain the candidates inflicted on the poor man.

even when people who are not chronic pain patients are given opioids for pain relief, say after surgery, they're normally first given stronger pain meds via the parenteral route while the post-op pain is still in the acute phase, before it settles into the chronic phase where it can more easily be controlled through the use of oral narcotics.

kidsnurse is shutting up now... we can all stop rolling our eyes! ;)
23rd-Nov-2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
You're right. That was a poor use of words on my part. I, for one, feel House needs the Vicodin and I wasn't implying that he was high. I was trying to relay the point that he is under the influence of pain meds already and it may help alleviate some of the discomfort. Since I'm not in the medical field I'm unaware of how certain meds actually work for chronic and acute pain. All I know is what I've been given in the past from previous knee surgeries, notably Dilaudid and Vicodin(I hated the way I felt with this medication).

Please feel free to get on your soap box. Some of us are less educated in the field of pain relief.

I need to think ahead before posting sometimes. Oh, and I didn't roll my eyes either. I actually felt bad for my phrasing of House's drug usage.
23rd-Nov-2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
oh, i figured you'd just 'phrased quickly,' as it were. but since the comment to which you responded was anonymous, and i couldn't respond to him/her directly.... and you know me... i can never resist a perceived chance to "educate," heaven help us all!!! ;)
23rd-Nov-2007 07:53 am (UTC)
i'll be glad to answer your questions, if i can. but i've gotta be honest--if i don't know it, and it can't be found via google, and i really, really need the info, i find myself up at U of F, in the med library--or i just alter my plot! [remind me to tell you how the plotline of an entire novel once transformed that way. hee!]

happy thanksgiving!