Just One Drop

Ouch! A drop of blood oozes from a small wound in your fingertip. You rinse it away with barely a thought and go about your day. But let’s take a closer look.

Did you know that little drop of blood contains:

  • Six million red blood cells (erythrocytes)
    Each carrying 640 million molecules of hemoglobin
  • From 150,000 – 400,000 platelets (thrombocytes)
  • From 4,000 – 10,000 white blood cells (leukocytes)

All of those millions of elements are cleverly transported in a straw-colored liquid called plasma; which makes up just over half (about 55%) of that drop of blood.  While you might think nothing more could fit into such a small space, a few proteins ride along as well.  They include Albumin, Globulins, and Fibrinogen, and they make up about 7% of the total volume of plasma.  Adults, on average, have five to six liters of blood circulating through 100,000 miles of arteries, veins and capillaries.  Those six liters make the trip more than 1,400 times a day, nourishing trillions of cells along the way.

So the next time you see a drop of blood, take a moment to appreciate its marvelous, masterful design.

Medical Staff Services – Knowledge Required

I spoke at a conference of medical staff service professionals Friday.  My time slot was towad the end of the two day program, and the topic, professional communication skills, was a little lighter fare than that of most of the other speakers. 

It’s a topic I like to present because I get to tell stories, some of them wonderful examples of people who said or did just the right thing, at just the right time, like the father who knew what to say to his tired daughter.  Some of the stories focus on the fact that the way we dress influcences how people think about us.  Some are shared in the hopes of bolstering people up who handle an often difficult, sometimes thankless, job with grace and courage.

Some of the other presenters at the two-day conference spoke about electronic medical record implementation and meaningful use, accountable care organizations, risk management, healthcare law, and Joint Commission standards.  It reminded me again that medical staff service professionals need a broad understanding of healthcare trends in order to be effective in their jobs.

It’s not a career for the faint of heart.