Posts Tagged ‘USB’

Get the notes!

August 4, 2009

My main task yesterday was to get my information together and fax the Medical Records department at Johns Hopkins. I don’t know what happened to them or where they went, but I have misplaced some of the photocopies of my records that I had gotten from them.

It was rather surprising that I actually got them. I emailed them and asked if records from February of 1967 were still available.  Surprisingly, they said they would look for them! And now I have managed to misplace them! Ain’t life grand?

You really ought to have a copy of your medical records handy, just in case. The more complex of an illness you have, the more useful they will be. I have multiple copies – an 8×10 folder (Which I take with me when I travel and leave somewhere in my room that it will be easily seen), a 3×5 folder in my back pocket, and a copy stored on a USB stick clipped to my belt. If I get taken into an Emergency Department unable to speak, I ‘ve got what I need.

And you have to look through everything and decide what’s important and what is not. I edit mercilessly – that unexplained fever I had in the 5th grade probably isn’t a concern any more, so that report stays at home. This is what I have in my heath folder: my vital statistics, insurance information, who to contact, allergies, information about my defect, corrective surgeries, diagram of my heart, and the last EKG I had. The basic stuff.

What you can also have that is invaluable is your surgical report. Whenever an operation is performed, a careful record is kept of the procedure. Here’s an example: Alfred Blalock’s surgical report of the first Blalock-Taussig shunt. (Page 1; Page 2) Having them is almost like letting that doctor travel back in time and see the original operation – he might have to call for a surgical consult to help him interpret them, but he’ll know exactly what was done during your operation.

Getting your surgical records might be difficult. The older you are, the better the chance they have been stored, filed and lost, and perhaps even disposed of. If you are the parent of a young child, be sure to ask for the surgical notes. The doctor may say, “Sure, no problem!”, or he may have to ask you to sign a form to show that they were transferred legally. You might have to jump through the hoops that the HIPPA law places in your way, but if they can be obtained, get them. Hopefully you’ll never need them, but if you do, they could save your life!

News of the Day

March 5, 2009

Blog Carnival: The Blog Carnival is on! If you wish to participate, please write a post on the subject “The gifts and challenges of a Congenital Heart Defect.” Post it on your blog and send me a link at ! The final day for submissions is March 21, 2009.

There is positive movement on the Congenital Heart Futures Act! As you may remember, members of the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) and other CHD groups lobbied Congress for sponsors for the Act, and we may have some positive movement on the issue! However… I gave my word that I wouldn’t write anything until it was official, so I can’t tell you yet. But I will as soon as I can!

Light the fires and kick the tires! The Funky Heart is traveling again! The trip is still in the future (and in the planning stages) so right now I’ll just give you little hints: Horace Greeley told me what to do, and I’ll be in John’s old stomping grounds. If I get to see some baseball, perhaps I’ll get lucky and see some good pitching. I’d love to see a pitcher get ten strikeouts! Any guesses? (Some of you know, so your guess doesn’t count!)

Former First Lady Barbara Bush had Aortic Valve Replacement surgery today and at last report is doing well. President Bush (#41) had some snappy comments at the press conference today but nearly broke down when talking about the surgical team. Like him or loathe him, it’s easy to see that President Bush loves his First Lady.

Robin Williams will also need to have his Aortic Valve replaced. Best of luck to ya, Robin. May you bounce back quickly and make us all laugh again very soon!

We’ve talked before about USB- based Electronic Health Records (EHR), but it looks like they may be out the window. Some medical facilities have even blocked their computers’ USB ports, in an effort to prevent forgetful staff from accidentally plugging one into the system. Running around the hospital sticking little plastic plugs into every USB port you can find… I wonder if that pays well? *sigh* I’m so used to carrying my USB that I feel naked without it, but it looks like it is back to the drawing board.