I’m on the hunt for Hunt

10 Jul

It’s a beautiful, sunny day.  The birds are tweeting (not as in on Twitter; how strange would that be?) and it’s all very lovely here in the countryside.  So I’m trying not to let my frustrations raise my blood pressure to levels which might spoil the loveliness of the day.  I think I need to get a punchbag.  That way I can work out my gritted teeth moments and get some beautifully honed upper arms in the process.  The reason for my ‘and…..breathe!’ thoughts today is the result of a ‘sorry, we cannot get any perfectly-good-but-recently-expired shunts to you for your shunt donation project because we have guidelines to adhere to’ message I received this morning.  It’s the first ‘no’.  Which actually, is pretty good going!  But it’s these sodding guidelines which get me mad.  Helloooooo, Coalition?  You want the UK to be seen as a greener country, don’t you?  You want to reduce your landfill sites don’t you?  You want to save millions each year on the cost of disposal of unused (for unused read WASTED) medical products don’t you?  Well, don’t you?  I’ve just downloaded some lovely government guidelines for bedtime reading this week.  From what I’ve glimpsed so far, it’s looking as ridiculous as it sounds.  Yes, a hefty amount of products chucked away each year can actually be used.  I’ve got one hospital saying they can’t give me shunts even though they desperately want to because of guidelines.  I’ve got another hospital saying they can’t officially give me shunts for the same reason – but they’re going to sneakily (and bravely) do it anyway because they too think it’s a mad thing to just throw them away.

"Who...me?".  Yes, you.

“Who…me?”. Yes, you.

Jeremy Hunt, I’m hunting you out very soon.  I’ll do my reading, speak to my surgeon helping me on this and to the other hospitals in contact with me at the moment, and I’ll come and see you (yes, I WILL see you, because I won’t rest until I do and then you’ll a) have to answer some questions and b) hopefully see that changes need to be made.  Because frankly, my dear, you should give a damn.

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5 Responses to “I’m on the hunt for Hunt”

  1. Kevin G. Hutton July 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    I didn’t know shunts had a use by date. As long as they are in sterile packaging they should be fine. Maybe it’s because they have contracts with the manufacturers to provide a constant supply and if stocks don’t need replenishing hospitals wouldn’t need to reorder so much.

    • jordantheheadcase July 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      All medical products have an expiry date. The guidelines are set by the government and it’s up to individual establishments to set their own rules around those guidelines. It’s based around risk of infection, disintegration, damage and so on. But of course, it’s like food on the reduced counter at the supermarket; rarely do you buy something from there and find it crawling with maggots as soon as it’s an hour past its expiry date. Shunts are sterile until unwrapped and as long as the packaging is intact, they’re usually absolutely fine to use. And seeing as they’re roughly £750-£1000 each, it’s a terrible waste to just throw them away.

  2. streetgirla July 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    They say these.geiedlins are to keep people safe but most of the time they end up not helping. People sometimes need to remember the diffunce between geiedlins and lowers lowores can’t be broken giedlins are just advised so they can be bent

    Good.luck

    Sorry about my spelling hope you understand what I meant

    • jordantheheadcase July 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      Don’t worry, I understood you! That’s what I want to change if possible; the laws need to be relaxed or amended to enable establishments such as hospitals to be able to make their own judgements if they feel expired equipment could actually be safely used. The World Health Organisation guidelines are no better. Honestly, can you actually imagine offering an intact shunt to the parents of an untreated child in Africa who have no other option and them saying ‘sorry, it’s two months past its expiry date; we’ll leave it, thanks’??

  3. Russell Miller October 23, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Hello my name is Russ. And 2005 I had my first shuny installed .i’ve had approximately 90 to shut revisions. I’ve had three bouts of spinal meningitis from the infections.this is the first time I went over nine months without a surgery. I’m always tired though and I’m still getting the severe migraines. I think what you’re doing here is wonderful keep it up I’m from the US.thank you look forward to your writings. Russ

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