The issue thoroughly covers one of my most favorite topics in veterinary medicine: pain management. In addition to the well-illustrated and well-written how-to article on performing epidurals, there’s an article by IVAPM president, Dr. Mark Epstein, about news in the “pain management pipeline”. I plan to write a separate post about the IVAPM as an invaluable resource, and why you should join if you are likely to ever encounter an animal in pain. We’ve been performing epidurals on all abdominal and orthopedic (pelvic limb) surgeries for at least the last year, perhaps the last two years. They are not technically difficult in the slightest, and I see no reason why general practitioners shouldn’t be performing them for things like: FHO, TTA (or other ACL surgery repair), patellar luxation repair, hind limb or tail amputation, cystotomy, abdominal exploratory, or c-sections. With this great article, hopefully more general practitioners will start doing these.
Dr. Mark Epstein’s article, “The Pain Management Pipeline: Pharmacologic Developments to Watch,” gives readers a glimpse of the future (and the future is now!) in terms of pain management for our patients. Several new, up-and-coming drugs are showing promise, although there’s still a lot more for us to learn. Dr. Epstein reviews some of these newer options, including: tapentadol, mexilitene, orphenadrine, long-acting opioids, and antiglial drugs. I know I’ll be following the IVAPM discussion boards closely to stay abreast of new information, as it becomes available.
This issue also included an interesting discussion on acupuncture, congenital luxation of the radial head in an English bulldog puppy (some very cool pictures of course!), and advice for clients with new puppies. And of course, I always love their “Capsules” section–brief reviews of veterinary articles that may be of interest to their readers but might not otherwise be seen by their readers (because we can’t subscribe to, let alone read, every single veterinary journal out there!). I learned that this “Capsules” concept is how the Clinician’s Brief originally began–and this was their 100th issue!
A supplemental issue of “Exceptional Veterinary Team,” the guide for problem-solving amongst hospital staff, was also included with the March 2011 issue of Clinician’s Brief. I admittedly didn’t read the whole thing, but I read the first article, “Dealing with a Medical Mistake,” by Erin Allen and Dr. Jane Shaw, with great interest. Can you imagine if you accidentally declawed the wrong cat? What would you do? I love its step-by-step guide in how to present bad news to a client in the best possible way, and there’s something reassuring about reading that, no matter how well you present the information, there may be negative consequences, but at least you were truthful, compassionate, and sincerely apologetic through it all. Malpractice suits most often result from a failure to take responsibility, apologize, and communicate openly. Dr. Jane Shaw is also one of the founders and primary educators for the Pfizer Frank Communication training I mentioned in an earlier post.
In case you missed it at the beginning of my post, here’s a link to the March 2011 issue of Clinician’s Brief:
Did you read this issue? What was your favorite part?