Sunday, 15 November 2009

Oh Dear!

In the course of research for an assignment I discovered that the most common sources of heparin come from porcine(pig) intestinal tracts. This normally wouldnt bother me, most of the medications I administer (or occasionally take myself) come from animal sources. However we use a modified version of heparin, enoxaparin as prophalaxis and treatment for blood clots in whats probably 70% of the patients in my hospital. Its very commonly used.

My problem is that I had no idea it was procine based, most of the staff I work with had no idea it was porcine based. I have certainly had jewish patients in the past. I must have at some point administered enoxaparin to them. Normally I give little consideration to religious elements of care, I appreciate they are important but I prioritise the body over the soul, I let the hospital chaplains worry about that. However this is a fairly heafty rule in the jewish belief structure we are unwittingly breaking.


Vincent said...

Shouldn't you have kept quiet about it then? What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over.

Asclepius said...

I'm fairly sure its a universal error. I've spoken to hundreds of healthcare professionals and none knew about it. Trouble is a job where "caring about people" is a key requirement doesnt really come with a quiet conscience.

Sage said...

crumbs.. what happens now?

btw welcome back

Vincent said...

I don't understand what conscience has got to do with it. If you had kept quiet, hundreds of health care professionals would not have had troubled consciences and everyone would have been happy, especially the patients.

I don't understand what troubled your conscience about this, unless you are practising jewish or muslim yourself. The Hippocratic oath doesn't oblige you to worry about your patients' beliefs, does it?

Asclepius said...

NEWS! I've spoken to the director of nursing at my trust. Firstly no members of staff giving enoxaparin are currently liable as its not even mentioned on the information that comes with the drug. She has added a tiny module to the mandatory training for all doctors and nurses about drug awareness. I've also managed to get hold of my drug administration transcripts, the only people of the jewish faith I have ever administered drugs to were in A&E and I didnt administer and enoxaparin there. YAY!