Tackling the information overload in healthcare

27 June 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 12

The European Wound Management Association (EWMA) 2019 Conference in Gothenburg opened with Claes Hultling, an anaesthesiologist, sharing his experience of living with spinal cord injury following an accident 4 weeks before his wedding. He reminded clinicians that our perception of what is important to the person receiving care often differs. In his candid presentation he talked of the issues faced by spinal cord patients. Namely: pain, incontinence, intercourse, fertility and complications of immobility, such as pressure ulceration. He urged clinicians to focus research questions and resources on what patients want, not what clinicians think they want. He gave the example of funds spent on trying to find a cure for cord injury to enable patients to walk again. He argued that this is not necessarily the greatest concern of this patient group. Patients with spinal cord injury need access to advice and support that enables a sense of purpose and helps them maintain active lives that contribute to society. He pointed out that those able to work and self-care are less likely to experience complications. His final thought was that he has learnt to live with, but never completely accepted, his condition; 30 years later he is still angry about what happened but he harnesses his anger and sense of injustice and it drives him to push boundaries and achieve the unachievable.

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