The New “COPD”

OK, this isn’t a very long post… and it’s certainly not a usual GiggleMed-style medical humor post.

Instead, let’s call it a proposal. In light of all of the patients I have seen in the hospital with “shortness of breath” as their primary presenting symptom, I think it’s time for a new diagnosis… a new disorder… a new classification.

I really think doing so will help with complex Joint Commission issues, throughput, ER overcrowding, coding confusion and more. It will help admitting physicians, ER attendings, EMTs, and interns and residents.

So, here’s my proposal:

“COPD” should now stand for “Congestive Obstructive Pneumonia Disease”

This will allow ER doctors and admitting physicians to prescribe the “Shortness of Breath Shot Gun” with no qualms at all… no need for elaborate, detailed histories… a quick, selective “physical exam” will be all that is needed. The pre-printed orderset will be a snap… a Treatment Trifecta: 

  • Antibiotics? – check
  • Steroids and nebs? – check
  • Diuretics? – check 

A separate pathway for dialysis patients can include HD instead of diuretics.

Think how easy an admission would be.

And now, I’m working on the ultimate combo-pill… I was thinking that subspecialty services like heart failure, orthopedics, open heart surgery, and any other protocol-driven service could have one monster combination medicine… complete with each med written on the usual protocol… all delivered via patented, time-release capsules…

I imagine such a med would be so large that it would have to be delivered as a suppository…

That’s it! The Protocol Pellet ™


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