Haemophilia is back in the news with the UK government being advised most strongly by Sir Brian Langstaff, in the Infected Blood Inquiry Interim Report, to issue immediate £100,000 compensation to the men, women and children treated by the National Health Service for conditions like haemophilia, who were given infected blood and infected blood products since 1970.
“Hello, is that the Duty Microbiologist? I’m a local GP, could I please discuss a patient with you?”
The Microbiologist put down his cup of coffee, yep, coffee, it may be the hottest day of the year out there, but here in the lab it’s air-conditioned to the point of refrigeration!!!!
“Go on then” said the Microbiologist being his normal cheery self.
Many hospitals rely heavily on aminoglycosides within their antimicrobial regimens. Locally we use Gentamicin as our go-to aminoglycoside of choice for sepsis (combined with Amoxicillin and Metronidazole) as well as for severe pyelonephritis amongst other things. In fact, it was one of my favourite choices for buying time to work out what is wrong with septic patients who cannot afford to wait for a diagnosis before treatment is started. ECIC (a.k.a. my wife) used to tease me that Gentamicin was the only Microbiology oncall advice needed and therefore our cat could do the oncall… how rude!
The Microbiologist looked around the room expectantly. The subject of today’s Registrar and Clinical Scientist teaching was zoonotic infections. In fact, it had been the subject of teaching for a number of weeks as the topic was enormous! The trainee Clinical Scientist who had suggested the topic was beginning to wonder what they had let themselves in for as the Microbiologist was clearly enjoying himself way too much!
“So, what can you tell me about deer fly fever?” he asked.
The trainees all looked at the floor, the ceiling, each other, in fact anything to avoid making eye contact with their overzealous teacher.
“Come on, come on” encourage the Microbiologist, “it’s a possible FRCPath exam question.”
“Okay, what about if I said the patient had recently returned from a summer holiday in Martha’s Vineyard, a 96-square-mile island shaped like a shark’s tooth off the coast of Massachusetts, with a high fever and severe pneumonia?”
The silence was deafening…
Then the Registrar piped up “isn’t that where the 2010 film Ghost Writer was set? Yeah, Martha’s Vineyard, yep, I’m sure it was! Some big cast names in it too”.
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