When search examples go bad

You know the feeling when you are looking for a search example and up comes an article advocating a Google search? Irritation! Annoyance! Eye rolls! Big sighs!

Years ago I performed a search demonstration about EpiPens and accidental overdoses. One article that came up was titled: Accidental Epipen injection into a digit – the value of a Google search. Arrggghh! So what happened here? A child accidentally injected himself with his mother’s EpiPen and was rushed to the emergency dept at a UK hospital. Experts were consulted but didn’t know what was the best course of action. Clinicians searched PubMed but didn’t find anything: “a literature search was carried out on PubMed using the following key words: ‘pediatric’, ‘digital artery’, ‘epinephrine injection’. No citations were found.” So they turned to Google and found one article that was very pertinent.

But guess what? The article they found is in PubMed!!!!! And the hospital has a well resourced medical library. So what is going on here? Is it ignorance of search methods? Is it a rapid need for info leading to knowledge of search methods going out the window?   I wonder if this hospital has access to the Chasing the Sun service – a service set up between hospitals in the UK and Australia in order to provide 24hr librarian assistance (and this service has been used in out of hours emergencies).

What can we learn from this?


Two child health filters


This PubMed filter below is an old (unreferenced – please let me know if you know the author/s so I can attribute!) filter and I thought to republish this along with a newer one from WBramer for comparison. Which one would you use in what circumstances and why? The PubMed one includes infants – perhaps a separate one for infants is needed rather than have it included in a child filter?

2006 PubMed filter

children[Text Word] OR “adolescence”[MeSH Terms] OR teenager[Text Word] OR teenagers[All Fields] OR baby[Text Word] OR babies[All Fields] OR “adolescence”[MeSH Terms] OR adolescent[Text Word] OR adolescents[Text Word] OR adolescence[Text Word] OR toddler[All Fields] OR toddlers[All Fields] OR youngster[All Fields] OR youngsters[All Fields] OR “young people”[All Fields] OR offspring[All Fields] OR offsprings[All Fields] OR youth[Text Word] OR youths[Text Word] OR juvenile[All Fields] OR juveniles[All Fields] OR newborn[Text Word] OR newborns[Text Word] OR “infant, newborn”[MeSH “infant”[MeSH Terms] OR infant[Text Word] OR infants[Text Word] OR infantile[All Fields] OR “child”[MeSH Terms] OR child[Text Word] OR neonate[Text Word] OR “infant, newborn”[MeSH Terms] OR neonates[Text Word] OR pediatric[All Fields] OR paediatric[All Fields] OR kid[Text Word] OR kids[All Fields] “pediatrics”[MeSH Terms] OR paediatrics[All Fields] OR pediatrics[All Fields]

Bramer filter (OVID Medline)

child/exp OR adolescent/exp OR pediatrics/exp OR childhood/exp OR child development/exp OR childhood cancer/exp OR pediatric ward/de OR pediatric hospital/de OR adolesc*.tw OR child.tw OR kid.tw OR kids.tw OR teen*.tw OR boy*.tw OR girl*.tw OR minors.tw OR underag*.tw OR (under adj1 ag*).tw OR juvenil*.tw OR youth*.tw OR puber*.tw OR pubescen*.tw OR prepubescen*.tw OR prepuber*.tw OR pediatric*.tw OR paediatric*.tw OR school*.tw OR highschool*.tw


5 Things I learnt as an inpatient

I have been an inpatient recently. I was in hospital for a little over 2 weeks to have a malignant tumour taken out of my face. As well as being an oncology patient, I was also a plastic surgery patient – muscle was taken from my abdomen to fill the cavity.

While I was an inpatient, I couldn’t help observing things:

  • Ward nurses lead very regimented lives at work. Medications, dressings, wound care, and countless other things run to a timetable. There is no time for education. If you want to reach ward nurses, find out what times the handovers are and arrange to have training on the ward or nearby then and there.
  • Nurses have to read a certain amount of papers to reach CPD goals. Nurses also always have their mobiles with them and they use them for work. Why not combine them and show them how to find articles via mobile?
  • Ward rounds with clinicians seem to go faster and faster these days. When I was an inpatient 20 years ago, they were longer but due to more patients and less time overall, many hospitals have restructured ward rounds. When I started doing them in the the Acute Medical Unit at work, there was more time taken and I was asked questions. Then the restructure occurred and no time was given to an educational component. I felt like a spare wheel so I asked a geriatrician how I could contribute in a meaningful way and was invited to take part in the educational lunchtime meetings.
  • Clinicians and other specialists also use mobile phones for lots of things. Did you think the flashlight on your mobile phone was pointless? Not to the ENT and plastic surgeons – they turned them on to look inside my mouth!
  • Nurses take a lot of crap from some patients. Have you seen those advertisements recently about violence towards healthcare staff? When I was an inpatient, an incident occurred that could have gotten scary. A patient was being more than obstreperous and dragging himself around the corridors. After things had calmed down, I asked the nurses on night duty if they were OK. They looked pleased that I asked. Why not do something nice for your nurses today?

These are little learnings I took on board. I am at home now and undergoing radiotherapy every weekday until August 11.  I look forward to doing some more blog posts before I return to work.