“Watchman’s Syndrome”: Why People Die on Hospital Doors

A couple of days ago, a resident of Yekaterinburg felt bad on the street, in front of passers-by she died. The cause of death has not yet been reported, but the case thundered throughout the country: everything happened a stone’s throw from the city hospital. Eyewitnesses ran there and asked for help, but the receptionist answered in a tired tone that “there are enough of our own affairs.” This conversation was recorded on video, it was spread on social networks, and yesterday a message appeared that a criminal case was opened on the fact of the failure to provide medical care, which resulted in death.  

This case is not a precedent, this has already happened, and more than once. Many remember a police officer who refused to help a victim of domestic violence with the wording “if he kills you, we will definitely leave, we will describe the corpse”; the woman who called the police was killed by her ex-boyfriend a few minutes later. Police Major Natalya Bashkatova was charged with negligence, but the article of the charge may be changed to a more serious crime.     

Such cases are becoming more and more loud: when everyone has a smartphone, the ability to record audio and video and instant access to the Internet, it becomes very easy to fix violations. The result is at least notoriety, like a receptionist who attacked a patient with fists in Yekaterinburg. The maximum is dismissal, administrative or even criminal proceedings, court proceedings, broken careers and, possibly, families; not to mention the fact that it is not clear how to live on and look into your own eyes, knowing that another person died or suffered because of your inaction. Why don’t people learn from the mistakes of others and this continues to happen?   

Perhaps the reason for this is an unloved job, where there is neither career growth, nor praise from the authorities, and you don’t want to bother your superiors once again – all of a sudden you have to work overtime later. Perhaps – unwillingness to stand out: when colleagues only do what they drink tea and shift pieces of paper, not showing initiative even in emergency situations, you don’t want to become the first. And then there is the fear of responsibility and the desire to shift it onto others (even if you have to be responsible for your actions sooner or later).

But it cannot be said that in medicine, one’s own negative experience does not become a lesson – on the contrary, such withdrawal and unwillingness to help may be dictated by the consequences of the initiative once shown. After accusations Elena Misyurin in many began to predict the death of the patient, the doctors will simply stop to risk and will not take up the complex procedures in order to save lives. Misyurina was acquitted, but both before and after this high-profile case there were trials for medical errors, for example, in Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod . Doctors find themselves between two fires: it is impossible not to provide assistance, but it is also dangerous to provide it – if something goes wrong (and the risk cannot be excluded), you can end up in the dock.       

It seems that this is still a big deal – to make the public atmosphere more humane
and medicine more qualified. 

According to psychotherapist Amina Nazaralieva, the coldness and detachment of administrators of hospitals and clinics is the cumulative result of burnout (due to low wages, heavy workload, repetitive work) and what is sometimes called the watchman’s syndrome . This is not a syndrome in the medical sense, but a pattern of behavior characteristic of people endowed with little power – for example, working as watchmen, security guards, receptionists. At the same time, a person tries to assert himself through the use of this power, to show who is in charge here – which means, not to be led by the person asking. 

Perhaps, in situations similar to those in Yekaterinburg, another social problem becomes visible: everyone’s distrust of everyone. After all, when friends or colleagues need help, people are often not afraid to take the initiative and actively try. When it comes to strangers, everything is different: in Russia they do not trust either each other or people in uniform (the former follows from the latter). Nazaralieva notes that the hospital could simply not believe the words that a person was dying on the doorstep.

According to the theory of small matters, you can raise even more noise, shoot all controversial situations on video, publish them and hope that something will change. Arrange ethical communication training for everyone who works with people. At work, if you are a manager, make sure that employees are praised and that they have the energy and time to communicate with real people. But it seems that this is still a big deal – to make the public atmosphere more humane and medicine more qualified. Then, having fallen in the street, we will have the right to hope for salvation.  

“Sharks attack when you have your period”: 10 myths about summer and the beach 

SUMMER EVERY TIME I WANT to spend on a special scale. An interesting fact: due to the long daylight hours, the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood in the summer becomes slightly higher – that is, for our body, summer can be a more stressful period than winter. But the brain in this season still rests: in Belgium conducted by the study , it was found that the neural “costs” on cognitive tasks, especially those related to memory, the summer following. At this time , the risks of cardiovascular diseases also decrease .       

Summer has a positive effect on well-being and health: for example, at this time more endorphins are produced – as it turned out , this is due to increased sweating. Just half an hour in nature stabilizes blood pressure and reduces the risk of depression – this is called ecotherapy. And vacation, according to American scientists, increases creativity and strengthens family ties. However, the season we are looking forward to is shrouded in legends and myths. Is it true that a super high SPF cream protects better? Is the best way to relieve the burning sensation after a jellyfish bite is to pee on the sore spot? Do insects attract so much sweet scents and can you catch a cold while sitting under the air conditioner? We answer right now.      

Sweet scents attract insects

Scientists have long been trying to understand by what principle mosquitoes and wasps choose “victims”. The reasons that during a picnic in the forest insects attack one person, ignoring the rest, may be more carbon dioxide, lactic acid or alcohol in the blood, blood type, a set of bacteria on the skin, and even genetics. However, it is more important for us to know not what attracts mosquitoes, and not even what bites in which areas are considered the most painful – these are the nostrils, the area under the lower lip and genitals – but how to protect ourselves most effectively from insects.    

Scientists may have found a drug that can make human blood poisonous to mosquitoes – but only to malaria. As for the classic variants of blood-sucking insects, a fresh study has shown that lemon eucalyptus oil and diethyltoluamide, also known as DEET, do the best with them ; these substances reduce the likelihood of being bitten by 60%. And the most exciting: another analysis by the same group for a couple of years earlier, allowed to argue that the flavor of Victoria’s Secret Bombshell effectively repel mosquitoes for at least two hours – in spite of the sweet notes of pineapple, strawberries, passion fruit and vanilla orchid in the composition …       

The higher the SPF,
the better

The incidence of skin cancer has increased dramatically over the past decades. According to the WHO, we are talking about two to three million cases of non-melanoma cancer and approximately 132 thousand cases of melanoma each year. Oncologists never tire of reminding us that we can help ourselves if we regularly apply sunscreen. A 2011 randomized clinical trial showed that using sunscreen reduces the risk of melanoma by 50–73%.    

But to perceive a high SPF as an opportunity to stay in the sun longer is wrong. The fact is that there is not as much difference between SPF 15, SPF 30, SPF 50 and SPF 100 as it might seem. Yes, SPF 100 blocks about 99% of UV rays, but SPF 15 – 93%, which is also a lot. Experts say that when used correctly (apply a generous layer, remember to renew after bathing), SPF 15-30 will be enough to protect even sensitive skin. In addition, a high protection factor can play a cruel joke with you: perceiving a cream with SPF 70-100 as a long-acting agent, there is a chance not only not to reduce, but even increase the risk of melanoma – simply because you will not use it often enough.    

You can get cold under the air conditioner

Debunked, debunked, but not debunked – in relation to this myth sounds more than convincing. No matter how many doctors tell us that wind or cold rain has nothing to do with the flu virus, we cannot remember it. And this state of affairs is understandable : the origins of the myth are to be found in the fact that influenza is most common during autumn and winter, when the weather in general can hardly be called pleasant. 

The story is similar with air conditioners: the cold air itself does not in any way affect the fact that our nose starts to stuffy and itchy throat. Another thing is that it is also impossible to completely remove the blame from air conditioners. Firstly, if the air conditioner is rarely cleaned and not thoroughly cleaned, it creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that can become the culprits of infection. Secondly, conditioners dry not only the skin, but also the mucous membranes, including the nasal mucosa – and this contributes to the better “fixation” of bacteria in the nose.   

Sea water heals skin diseases

Any sane person knows that it is not worth sprinkling salt on a fresh wound. But when it comes to dermatological diseases, be it acne, eczema or atopic dermatitis, salt water is often perceived as a solution to all problems. The idea is good: seawater is known for its antibacterial properties, and research has shown that seawater has anti – itching and anti – inflammatory effects for dermatitis .   

But we must not forget that the sea water is not working dot: it will dry foci of inflammation, but the rest of the skin will make more dry. After that, the process proceeds according to the classical scheme: as soon as the sebum becomes less, the skin reacts with more active production of sebum, and the pores are clogged, leading to the same inflammations that we wanted to get rid of. In addition, swimming in salt water with open wounds, even with a small pimple, increases the risk of bacterial infection in the body.    

Sharks feel menstrual blood

If you’ve always wondered if sharks really feel blood at great distances or if it’s a fantasy for horror movies, then here’s the answer: yes, they really can do it. When a person smells, it is because the odorous molecules dissolve in the moisture in the nasal mucosa. The smell under water spreads in a similar way – with the only difference that the molecules are already dissolved in the water. Shark’s sense of smell is about the same as that of other fish, and the perception of smell depends on the type of shark and the specific chemical.   

A shark is able to smell a drop of blood in a large pool – but primarily because here it is not disturbed by the huge amount of aromas that are present in the ocean. As for menstrual blood, it is not only blood, but also mucus and endometrial particles. When swimming in the sea during your period, no more blood will get into the water than from an average scratch or cut – and a shark will definitely not be interested in such a scale.  

Scientists were also interested in other animals – and when analyzing cases of bears attacking people, it turned out that there was no connection between the menstrual cycle and the interest of these animals. The only exception, according to scientists, can be polar bears, but during the experiments they were also interested in seafood, seal fat and even alcohol, and only then in the used tampon. 

local_offerevent_note June 14, 2021

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