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Minneapolis Police: Uses dangerous drug to sedate criminals

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Minneapolis has some creative people. Too creative for their own good. Somebody probably saw that the guys who take down large animals with tranquilizer darts use darts filled with ketamine. “Hey, if it will take down those animals, why don’t we use it on the animals our police are fighting?” And an immensely stupid program began. It was also illegal, but if we’re controlling bad guys, who cares?

Time for disclosure. I am a doctor. I do not play one on TV. Not only that, I’m an anesthesiologist and used ketamine in my practice. For certain things, it has no equal. But its proper uses are quite limited.

Ketamine comes from a class of drugs called phencyclidines. The street version is known as Angel Dust, and abusers are Dusters. Because ketamine causes profound analgesia (pain relief), Dusters are known for feats of superhuman strength. Broken handcuffs are just one relatively well-known example. At the same time, Dusters may break their own bones. The analgesic effect of ketamine keeps them from realizing the damage they are doing to themselves.

By now, it should be pretty clear that ketamine is no panacea for the problem of sedating troublesome persons being arrested. At the wrong dose in the wrong person, police can put themselves in worse difficulties than when they started. How do you control someone who feels no pain and wants to cause you harm? Flashback to the villain Renard in The World is Not Enough. He is almost impossible to defeat in a fight because he feels no pain. But I guess the Minneapolis wise guys don’t watch James Bond films.

I have to wonder if the police bothered to look at any references. Even Wikipedia would have been helpful. If they had, they’d discover that there are a lot of other problems with ketamine. The first one should have given them a real headache. The primary reason we don’t use ketamine a lot in anesthesia is that it has a high incidence of emergence delirium. In language even an inattentive civil servant can understand, that means that if you give someone ketamine, they can hallucinate. This happens often enough that we try to avoid ketamine except in those odd cases where its other effects make it the best drug available. Just to make a bad problem worse, there are a lot of times when there isn’t anything you can do to stop the delirium. Welcome to hell.

We’ve only scratched the surface. Since Minneapolis police officers obviously consulted Dr. Conrad Murray, we should expect that they got the same level of advice Michael Jackson got. That means that they missed the fact that ketamine can lead to airway obstruction and death. It releases adrenaline, so it can cause hypertension and tachycardia leading to death. Did I mention that it can kill you? And, unlike opioids, you can give all the naloxone you want and it won’t do a bit of good.

But the Minneapolis police officers are really interested in saving lives, so we can let them use this drug they simply don’t understand on patients who aren’t consenting and may suffer badly from its administration. No problem.

The track record is as bad as I suggested up front. Ketamine administration has led to multiple episodes of cardiac and breathing problems, with many patients requiring emergency intubation. Now for a skilled health care provider, intubation is generally no big deal. But you never deliberately put yourself in a position where you create an uncontrolled need for intubation. The moment you do that, you’ll find yourself looking at the impossible situation. With somewhere around fifty thousand intubations under my belt, the next one can still be the one where I have to call a partner in to give it a try. My practice had over eighty anesthesiologists and two hundred nurse anesthetists, so there was usually another set of hands available. But who is the paramedic in the field going to call? Ghostbusters has an unlisted number.

Let’s get one thing clear. Minneapolis police officers did not have a hand on the syringe. They asked the Hennepin County paramedics to administer ketamine. And if a cop asks, how is a paramedic supposed to refuse? But the paramedics are supposed to operate according to a strict protocol, and only give ketamine when a patient is “profoundly agitated, unable to be restrained, or a danger to themselves or others.” It’s clear that this guideline was violated on multiple occasions.

And this brings us to the nub of the matter. Ketamine is properly used only in the sort of situation described in the protocol. In anesthesia, we will also use it in autistic or severely mentally retarded patients who cannot be managed by breathing them to sleep with gases. In short, we mostly use it in the controlled medical equivalent of the field situation.

It’s likely that Dr. Jeffrey Ho (the director of Hennepin County EMS who happened to graduate from the same medical school I did!) is actually well aware of the proper use of ketamine. He’s a recognized expert in pre-hospital emergency care. And if ketamine is used in the very restricted fashion the policy describes, it’s probably better than most alternatives. But when police decide that they want a set of chemical handcuffs rather than doing their job, we have a problem.

Police work can be difficult and dangerous. But police are not allowed to place people in danger just to make their own life easier. Doing so exceeds the bounds of our social contract with police, and also violates a host of laws. For a paramedic to go along with such an improper request places that paramedic in violation of state laws on the practice of medicine. Their drivers’ license isn’t enough. You follow the protocol or get permission from the supervising ER doc by calling it in.

Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis have a problem on their hands. Their best bet will be to quietly approach persons who were harmed by this cavalier misuse of ketamine and buy out their legal liability. Then the EMS and police persons involved should be invited to leave. Promptly. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

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Healthcare

Democrats are right about Trump’s actions but wrong about his motives

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Democrats are right about Trumps actions but wrong about his motives

Donald Trump sent out a tweet over the weekend accusing Democrats of being “obstructionists” on the issue of so-called immigration reform. According to Trump, this is causing “needless pain and suffering” while creating the conditions responsible for the “horrors taking place on the Border.”

Besides being a blatant example of how Trump and the GOP have turned the politics of distraction into an art form, his blame game is a lie — at least, where the “horrors” on the border are concerned — because Trump has full constitutional power to stop the border invasion without Congress.

So, why perpetrate the lie that the border problem is not his fault? It could be, and most likely is, Trump’s ignorance of the Constitution and his blame-everyone-but-himself narcissism. In this case, however, I think there’s more to it.

I believe we are also witnessing Trump’s adaptation of the “never let a crisis go to waste” Saul Alinsky-inspired rule perfected by the Obama administration. Trump uses the border “crisis,” which he promised to fix and could fix if he wanted, to orchestrate a political advantage for himself by spreading the lie that the “horrors” at the border are the Democrats’ fault.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have their own theory concerning Trump’s motivation. They believe he’s trying to put the focus on immigration as a way to “change the subject” away from health care.

Considering the fact that Trump and the GOP have failed to repeal Obamacare as promised, I can see how “Chuck and Nancy” might reach that conclusion. However, they’re incorrect because the NY Liberal in the White House and his swamp buddies in Congress are all-in with the Democrats on the healthcare issue.

Earlier this month, I wrote a piece about an op-ed allegedly written by Trump where he decried the Democrat Party’s call for “Medicare for all” — which is Washingtonese for single-payer — while promising to protect Medicare and parts of Obamacare. He doubled down on this commitment a few days ago.

Despite promising for the fourth election in a row to really, really repeal Obamacare if voters let them keep their majority, Republicans have assumed complete ownership of Obamacare. And when you add that reality to the inevitable expansion of Medicare, the creation of single-payer, government-run socialized health care is guaranteed, which has been the goal of Obamacare from the very start.

Heck, there’s even a movement within the GOP to advance single-payer as the conservative answer to the health care crisis.

The sad reality of today’s Republican party is that it has been transformed into the Trumplican Party. Equally sad is how so-called conservatives have become Trumpservatives whose betrayal of conservative values is so obvious, they aren’t even hiding it anymore.

Democrats are right about Trump using the immigration problem as a way to change the subject, but they’re wrong about what’s motivating him to do so. He isn’t doing it to avoid the Democrats’ goal of single-payer, government-run socialized health care … he and the GOP love it just as much as they do.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Democrats

PragerU: What’s wrong with government-run healthcare?

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PragerU Whats wrong with government-run healthcare

This latest video from PragerU details how another vote-buying pipe dream from the Left can never work.

A new video from PragerU features policy expert Lanhee Chen from the Hoover Institution at Stanford, who explains how ‘Free Healthcare’ can never work in the real world. As is the case with most Leftist vote-buying schemes, the ‘The Medicare for all’ fiction is long on promises and short on how it will be funded. The tax burden for such a scheme would destroy the economy and would have to be levied on almost everyone. This kind of national socialized healthcare would also take away the incentive for innovation, which has made for the best healthcare system in the states and the rest of the world.

One often suspects that these assurances of freebies are never meant to operate as promised. Witness the much vaunted Obamacare that was supposed to eliminate the uninsured, but did nothing of the sort. Such is also the case with their push for Liberty control, since it never works as advertised.  In most cases, it should be apparent that the Left doesn’t care if their schemes will work or not. If they did actually care, they would try something else, something that actually works.

For the Left, their ‘Ends justifies the means’ mantra extends to most of their agenda. It doesn’t matter if their system of societal slavery works or not, only that it brings them the power they crave.

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Healthcare

Don’t tease us, Mitch. McConnell puts Obamacare repeal back on table.

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Dont tease us Mitch McConnell puts Obamacare repeal back on table

If Republicans can win enough Senate seats in the midterm elections, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he may take another stab at repealing and replacing Obamacare. Three separate attempts last year were thwarted by unified opposition by Democrats and some defections among Republicans.

McConnell says Senate Republicans might revisit Obamacare repeal

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-mcconnell-policy/mcconnell-says-senate-republicans-might-revisit-obamacare-repeal-idUSKCN1MR2QEDespite their dominance of Congress and the White House, Republicans dramatically failed last year to overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare. McConnell called it “the one disappointment of this Congress from a Republican point of view.”

He said, “If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.”

His words were tempered so as not to unsettle voters ahead of the midterm elections. In past years, Republicans were bold about proclaiming the need to rid the nation of Obamacare. This helped them get control of the House, Senate, and White House. Now, public sentiment towards Obamacare has softened and so has rhetoric from Republicans in an election year.

My Take

What is really needed is a full but staggered repeal of Obamacare followed by a systematic revamping of the healthcare system with minimal government control. Most of that control should belong to the states, not DC. To make the ideal situation happen, we’d need to replace 80% of House Republicans and 90% of Senate Republicans with true limited-government conservatives and Federalists.

That’s not happening any time soon, so we’re stuck with a repeal and replace. Based on what has been proposed in the past, a repeal and replace would be incrementally better than what we have, but it may not be worth supporting. A little better than awful is still awful.

If Republicans can keep control of the House and Senate and are still unable to repeal and replace Obamacare before 2020, it will be a sad testament to the state of the party.

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