Last night, while walking past the BMI Albyn Hospital in Aberdeen, I spotted this worrying note on a car windscreen.
I’m not sure if the note is an official communiqué from BMI Healthcare, “the UK’s Number 1 private hospital group”, but it does raise some interesting questions. Mainly, what are Medical Gases? I found the answer on Wikipedia:
Oxygen: Oxygen may be used for patients requiring supplemental oxygen via a mask.
Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous Oxide is supplied to various surgical suites for its anaesthetic functions during pre-operative procedures.
Nitrogen: Nitrogen is typically used to power surgical equipment during various procedures.
Carbon Dioxide: Typically used to inflate or suspend tissues during surgery.
Medical Gas Test Mixtures: Often used for patient diagnostics such as lung function testing or blood gas analysis.
Medical Gases sound quite important, don’t they?
After I read the note I had a look at the ‘illegally parked’ car. The note implies that the car was blocking access to the hospital car park but as far as I could tell it wasn’t blocking anything. While I was investigating, a nurse drove out of the car park without a problem, as if to prove my point. I understand that delivery trucks are probably slightly larger than the average nurse’s car, but even if the delivery driver had found it impossible to access the hospital car park couldn’t they have just parked further away and wheeled the gas in? I was surprised that a professional Medical Gas courier would have decided to give up on a delivery – especially when the running of a hospital depended on it.
So how is Aberdeen’s Albyn Hospital going to cope without a Medical Gas supply? Will they be forced to perform operations without anaesthetic or fully functioning surgical equipment? Will patients who require supplemental oxygen be left gasping? Will lung function and blood go un-analysed?
I’ve written to the hospital to find out, but in the meantime I’ve cancelled my vasectomy.
[Bonus points if you noticed that ‘receive’ is misspelled.]
[And ‘illegaly’ obviously. Obviously.]