Friday, April 25, 2003
It was about 6 months ago when the Moscow hostage crisis ended with more than a hundred hostages and all Chechen hostage takers dead. The substance used was an opiate called fentanyl (actually a derivative of it), a synthetic compound that is 100 times more powerful than the naturally-occurring heroin. To quote Les Dabney quoting at Testify! who quite independently did his own work on the subject back then...
FENTANYL, a commonly used and extremely potent narcotic, seems to be the most common narcotic associated with death in the recovery room.That's right - even the best of anesthesiologists have trouble controlling fentanyl - why should the Russian military do better? Answer: they can't and shouldn't have been expected to. I'll forgive the people on the ground because they didn't know any better. Blame should go to the leadership. Wasn't there anything that would incapacitate all in the theater without killing 1 in 7? Go ask any competent anesthesiologist.
The real danger of the drug results from its long half-life and peculiar double-humped decay curve.
The average short procedure such as hemorrhoidectomy, nose job, dental extraction or arthoscopy takes less than 30 minutes. By 45 minutes the patient has arrived in the recovery room, received her initial assessment by the cautious and attentive recovery room nurse (one thing we have found in even some substandard hospitals is the quality, concern and attentiveness of the recovery room nurses) and is allowed to rest undisturbed. A few minutes later the recovery room nurse turns around and the patient is blue and pulseless.
(As for going in and shooting the hostage takers, I make no judgment against the military. These hostage takers got what was coming to them - they had already killed hostages. Screw them.)
Anyway, for grits and shins, I decided to check out the responses to that post in the blog world. Atrios linked to it first; it resulted in the biggest bump in my rather paltry hit count (I'm too lazy to advertise - tough nuts). It was also linked to by Neptune World, who rather enjoyed me going off on some Glennuendo. And then there was the pathetic Jay Caruso and his circle jerk, "Uh huhh huh huh. Uhhh huh huh huh. He said 'chickenblogger'." The only value to that little addition to the discourse was to prove Hesiod right when he coined the term 'chickenblogger'. It's perfect for the "kill the Muslims" chanters that are too afraid to address any actual point being made, lest they make idiots of themselves falling all over their 'logic' that they know to be full of shit.
For the record, that was the second and latest time I had used the term 'chickenblogger'. The first time was about 8 weeks earlier. So they read all about fentanyl and couldn't say a damn thing about it.