Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Medical Emergency

Yesterday a good friend called to let me know about an emergency situation and a request for help.

He asked me to help search for medical information. His wife had undergone an injection in her spine as part of ongoing treatment for pain. A bubble formed in the spinal column and resulted in partial paralysis affecting her upper body. She's in the hospital and receiving good care, however my friend indicated that the doctors were unfamiliar with this situation and not sure about treatment(s). A hyperbaric  chamber was used to dissolve the bubble, and this seems to have helped, but some paralysis persists.

My friend forwarded an article he had found describing a similar, although less severe case.  He indicated there were some good keywords in the article and for me to apply my search skills to see if I could locate additional cases or treatments that might inform his interaction with her doctors. Here's the article.

I did find some additional information in medical journals, but don't know how helpful they will be.

So I thought I'd involve the readers of this blog with the problem. This isn't a search challenge exactly like any others I've written. It involves suffering. There are serious consequences.

My intention in writing about this is not so much about engaging additional searchers looking for medical information (Web 1.0 style) but to spread the request over social networks. Someone may know someone who has experience with this or a similar condition. That was the case with the Perennial Challenge a couple of blogs back. The plant was growing in a person's yard in New Zealand. No databases had to be searched. But it did require the use of technology Web 2.0 style.

Information Fluency involves knowing multiple ways to find information. One of those ways is to use digital tools to involve many people in addressing an issue.

I hope you can help.

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