Physician Finds Experimental Cure For Poisoned Family On Google Scholar
from the nice-to-see-it's-useful dept
A few weeks ago, I was a little surprised in talking to a friend of mine who is a surgeon, when he explained to me that before he goes into a surgery for something he hasn't done in a while (or has never done), he'll often poke around on Google for a bit to refresh his memory of how such surgeries are supposed to go. He pointed out that his expertise is in surgery in general, and Google is often the fastest and best way to refresh his memory on specific situations he might encounter. Apparently, he's not alone among the medical profession in going to Google when a physician isn't sure what to do in a specific situation -- and it may have saved some lives recently. Over the last week or so here in Northern California, the press has been reporting on the case of six family members admitted to the hospital for eating poisonous mushrooms. The oldest person in the group eventually died, but the rest were saved. That, obviously, isn't much of a technology story, but Search Engines WEB writes in to point us to a more detailed article in a local paper that notes that the doctors working on the case found something of an experimental treatment by searching the literature on Google Scholar, and then plowing through tremendous red tape involving pharmaceutical companies, the FDA and local hospitals in order to treat the patients successfully. There are plenty of sources that medical professionals can use these days, so it's interesting that Google is turning out to be so useful. For all the talk about how the web may be full of bad medical information, it appears that even doctors (and some healthy patients) are finding out that it can be pretty useful at times.