From Zócalo comes an excellent essay on decisions healthcare professionals make about end of life care, especially their own. The following excerpt, particularly relevant to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, illustrates how the most invasive care is not always the best:
"One of the patients of whom I was most fond was an attorney from a famous political family. She had severe diabetes and terrible circulation, and, at one point, she developed a painful sore on her foot. Knowing the hazards of hospitals, I did everything I could to keep her from resorting to surgery. Still, she sought out outside experts with whom I had no relationship. Not knowing as much about her as I did, they decided to perform bypass surgery on her chronically clogged blood vessels in both legs. This didn’t restore her circulation, and the surgical wounds wouldn’t heal. Her feet became gangrenous, and she endured bilateral leg amputations. Two weeks later, in the famous medical center in which all this had occurred, she died."
The anecdote is revealing, and the piece argues persuasively that knowledge tempers expectations.
Our thanks to Dr. Ken Murray for his excellent series of essays.
For more information on hyperbaric treatment of diabetic ulcers of the lower extremities, see: http://www.hyperbariclink.com/diseases-and-conditions/diabetic-ulcers.aspx
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