Why do people experience memory loss from drinking? What’s happening in the brain? What are the consequences? The effects of alcohol on memory are startling. At a blood-alcohol level of approximately 0.15, the hippocampus shuts down entirely. At that point, all memories disappear completely and there is nothing to recall. Even in this state of total blackout, when the hippocampus is entirely shut down, it is possible for the drinker to continue to function like a “normal” drunk person. In fact, it can be impossible to tell when someone else has reached the point of blackout. Learn more about drinking and
What are the effects of stress on memory? Are the effects severe? Long term? Stress affecting memory is a huge problem in everyday life, and a particular problem for people who need to obtain crucial information under stressful circumstances, such as interrogators. We’ll look at the effects of stress on memory in the military to understand how stress might also affect us in less acutely stressful environments.
What happens when you black out? What are the stages of a blackout? What are its consequences? When a person drinks an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time, the hippocampus in the brain is affected. The hippocampus is responsible for memory, which is why excessive drinking often leads to a state of blackout. Blackout refers to a state in which some or all of your memories are lost. Learn what happens when you black out.
Doctors make mistakes. How can those in the medical community avoid the avoidable errors that sometimes cost patients their lives? The answer is the checklist. We’ll cover studies that show how a simple checklist can help doctors avoid making avoidable mistakes.
Is there enough communication in medicine? Can a checklist help doctors, nurses, and specialists better work together to keep patients safe? We’ll cover how the humble checklist can improve communication in medicine and dramatically impact patients.
In 2006, before the implementation of the WHO surgical safety checklist, the World Health Organization (WHO) asked surgeon Atul Gawande to organize a group to solve a problem: Surgery was increasing rapidly worldwide, but surgical patients were getting unsafe care so often that surgery was a public danger. WHO sought a global program that would reduce avoidable harm and deaths from surgery. We’ll cover how the WHO surgical safety checklist was developed, how it’s been implemented in hospitals across the country, and what results hospitals have seen from using the WHO surgical checklist.
Advances in medicine have brought with them the need for the existence and expansion of medical specialties. This specialization in medicine has many benefits. Does it have downsides? We’ll cover the history of medical specialization and why it doesn’t always serve patients well.
In trying to do the right things, the challenge of the 21st century is ineptitude, rather than ignorance. It used to be the reverse. Can a simple checklist, say, a heart attack checklist, help prevent avoidable mistakes in medicine? We’ll cover how more knowledge, in medicine particularly, has led to more ineptitude, and we’ll discuss how doctors adopting a simple list like a heart attack checklist can save lives.
In medicine, the four vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration) have become an important regular check on how a patient is doing. Missing one can be dangerous. Would a medical checklist help make sure that each step was completed? We’ll cover the benefits of medical checklists in a variety of medical fields and look at how they can significantly reduce complications and save lives.
In 2001, a critical care specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Peter Pronovost, decided to try a checklist for doctors, targeting a common problem in ICUs: central line infections. How could the hospital improve central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABI) prevention? We’ll cover Pronovost’s simple technique for CLABI prevention and look at its success throughout the nation.