Critical CareMedical EducationResuscitationSMACCProcessing emergency decisions in Critical care

Processing emergency decisions in critical care by MJ Slabbert.

Numbers people, give me the NUMBERS! We need CONCRETE data points and percentages…!

Go buy another machine to deliver the numbers and data points. We need it to be delivered by gadgets, gadgets that go ping and pong…more and more gadgets.

Let’s plot it on graphs and write it into a protocol to then be memorised verbatim in training and dutifully regurgitated in medical exams. That makes us excellent clinicians right? Worthy of more numbers and a couple of extra letters behind our names.

Medicine is obsessed with numbers! The glorified science of modern medicine. A fictitious safety net.

We are often discouraged from relying on our brains to make decisions, especially in emergency situations. Criticism of human error and the human factors which lead to error are in abundance.

What if I told you, your decision-making is far more complex than that? That, how I deal with an emergency also involve guts, prayers and yes, sometimes tricks. Does that make me reckless? A cowboy (girl) or a savant? Or am I just nudged by my unconsciousness. Are you?

Whether you like it or not, how you deal with emergencies, how you deal with life is far more complex and unclear and uncertain than what quantitative science would like. Our brains are amazing and we need to embrace our whole toolbox when making decisions.

There is literally way more between heaven and earth than what meets the eye and your unconscious mind is filling in the gaps. So hold on and follow me down the rabbit hole…

Be inspired by a talk by MJ Slabbert on processing emergency decisions in Critical care.

For more like this, head to our podcast page. #CodaPodcast

MJ Slabbert

MJ Slabbert is an Anesthesiologist & Intensivist.