A few weeks ago, I saw a great patient video discussing a woman in the MidWest talking about her snowmobile accident and she gave great feedback for the staff. But she also said "I knew I was hurt but I thought, 'it's 2015, I thought they could fix anything.'" She lost two of her fingers permanently. During the interview, she mostly kept her right hand over the left hand with the missing fingers. She talked about the confusion when her doctor told her that the fingers were beyond saving. But her comment on the perception of most people that hospitals in America can fix anything has stuck with me. We do have amazing trauma teams. We have technology that diagnosis quickly, stabilizes and can mimic functions that the body can't manage on its own. We have blood transfusions and intense surgical techniques.
But we still can't do it all. When I gave a presentation recently on infectious diseases, I reiterated this to the audience -- avoiding getting sick is still really important. We can kill bacterial infections with antibiotics, but it's getting harder. We can't kill viruses with antibiotics though, and there are few anti-virals available. We have to be smart and avoid injury and disease -- and be grateful for the advances in medicine should we ever need them.