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Trauma, continuing care

KMATTOX at aol.com KMATTOX at aol.com
Thu Oct 20 02:20:21 BST 2005

Sheila:   I am still of the opinion that a surgeon and a service  that 
accepts a patient and admits that patient to the ICU, hospital bed or  operates upon 
them has TOTAL responsibility for that patient during that  hospitalization, 
until another physician, (NOT A TEAM) accepts the  responsibility for that 
patients health problems.   The surgeon might  get someone to consult on problems 
that the surgeon believes are beyond her/his  capability, but the admitting 
doctor did take on the responsibility when the  patient was admitted.   We do 
not practice medicine by a clock  punching team.   The patient wants one 
doctor.   You did not  ask about an obstetrician who might start a delivery, only to 
hand off to  another in the middle of a delivery because her/his shift is up 
and therefore  their responsibility is over.      
Continuity is in order.   The Libby Zion case was all about loss  of 
continuity of care, not fatigue.       

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