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It’s Medical Monday!!!
Today’s Topic is: Medical Care After the Apocalypse
I want you to think about all the times you had to go to the hospital in your life. Maybe you broke a bone or two. Maybe you got into a serious accident. Whatever landed you at the hospital, think about that injury in an apocalypse, when you can’t go to the doctor. I would be screwed, because I tore my ACL two Septembers ago and had surgery to repair it. I could barely walk before my surgery because my knee kept giving out. I would have been zombie bait. And if you think back, I’m sure there is one injury you have had in your life that would have been very bad to have post Zompoc.
Even a simple cut where you needed stitches can kill you in an apocalypse if you do not clean it out right, or if it is deep enough. Broken bones can leave you crippled. And forget it if you roll your car trying to speed away from zombies.
My point with this post is that the “standard of care” in the apocalypse is going to be way lower than it is now. No plastic surgeon to stitch up your face when you cut it. Suck it up and live with the scar. Broken bone? You may have a permanent disability because of it. You have appendicitis? Oh well.
I often think when I’m seeing patients, “How would I treat this patient in the apocalypse?” My answer is often, “I wouldn’t.” Many diseases I simply will not be able to treat. You have a sinus infection? Suck it up. You will not get antibiotics. You have something that needs surgery? No surgery for you. You need IV medications? Forget about it.
Another thing that we will have to face is all the diseases we are vaccinated against we will watch our children die from. Before the H. flu vaccine, do you know how many children got meningitis? Way too many. I have not seen one person with meningitis (although I start my neurology rotation today so that may change!). But in a post-apocalyptic world, children (and adults!) will die from this. Measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diphtheria…all diseases that we don’t have to deal with now. They will come back with a vengeance and thwart any effort we have of re-populating the planet.
Most fans of the “zombie genre” wait and pray for Z-day. But stop and think about medieval times and ask yourself, “Can I live like that?” Remember the high infant mortality rate, living to the ripe old age of 35, being dirty, no indoor plumbing, and no cell phones! If you want zombies or any other apocalypse, you need to realize and accept the consequences and the new death rate of survivors from diseases we have not seen in a generation.
Moral of the Story: Shit’s gunna be rough post-apocalypse!