PHYSICIAN’S CORNER: NEJM “COVID-19 PRIMER – VIRTUAL PATIENT SIMULATION” (2020)

CLICK ON PATIENT BELOW TO LAUNCH “VIRTUAL PATIENT SIMULATION”

COMMENTARY

This interactive simulated case of Covid 19 (SARS CoV-2) is remarkable: a unique opportunity to stand in the shoes of a ER Doctor without any risk, except to our egos.

This is meant for doctors, but the intellectually curious  Guests of this site might enjoy the experience, especially Doctor Lisa Sanders fans.
The vocabulary is full Medical, and will give a foretaste of the words I will slowly be exploring. I believe that patients should not be intimidated by their lab reports.

I’ll start the vocabulary journey with FERRITIN which is a marker for IRON STORES in the body. You can have too much iron, which is dangerous (iron overload), in which case the ferritin is high.

There was a time when I had too little iron ( was anemic, with a hemoglobin of 8.6, and felt terrible) and my ferritin was low. I now check my ferritin every 6 months to make sure I am taking enough iron to offset my blood loss, which is another story I will tell when I start go through my medicine cabinet and discuss the Meds one at a time.

The reason for testing ferritin in our interactive Covid 19 case was because ferritin is markedly elevated in cases of inflammation/ infection. It is an “acute phase reactant”, and may reflect the “cytokines storm” that may be a contributor to the lethality of Covid 19.

There is another way to benefit from this simulation: the train-wreck of a patient serves as a cautionary tale of what you wish NOT to become. Our present medical profession is so DISEASE oriented. How much better if our society and our medical profession were HEALTH oriented instead.

—Dr. C.

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