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Doctor Performs Amputation By Text Message

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the l33t-5ki11z dept.

Medicine 242

Peace Corps Online writes "Vascular surgeon David Nott performed a life-saving amputation on a boy in DR Congo following instructions sent by text message from a colleague in London. The boy's left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous; there were just 6in (15cm) of the boy's arm remaining, much of the surrounding muscle had died and there was little skin to fold over the wound. 'He had about two or three days to live when I saw him,' Nott said. Nott, volunteering with the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, knew he needed to perform a forequarter amputation requiring removal of the collar bone and shoulder blade and contacted Professor Meirion Thomas at London's Royal Marsden Hospital, who had performed the operation before. 'I texted him and he texted back step by step instructions on how to do it,' Nott said."

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interestingly the text message device could be use (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983275)

I long ago discovered my text-messaging device allows me to talk directly to another person through his or her text-messaging device. Amazing!

And, not only is this more efficient and accurate, it costs far less. Imagine the lives that could be saved if doctors were given instructions for talking through these text-messaging devices. I, for one welcome the emergence of these devices and their new-found features.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983333)

Because you want the doctor to be operating on you one-handed. Yea...

You want all the instructions before starting. (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983357)

else you are in deep trouble when the patient is open and the battery runs down or the net fails.

Re:You want all the instructions before starting. (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983825)

WASSUP CUT ARM STCH SKN ! BL0D. LOL

a b c d e f g
slashdot filter

Haha, I. R. Funny! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984107)

Not as funny as this auction ARE!!

Woot! [ebay.com]

Re:Haha, I. R. Funny! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984241)

lol. Mint condition.

Re:You want all the instructions before starting. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984393)

You want to understand the full directions, before you start anything important, anyways, so you clarify any points of confusion and check your full understanding well in advance.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983359)

Spoken like somebody who's never needed to pay the astronomical roaming charges or put up with the hideous interference and quality loss on a voice call.

Sometimes text is faster and cheaper, because you're not spending 90% of the call going "What? Please repeat!"

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (0)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983549)

And sometimes there's enough garbling of the text to render it illegible...

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (3, Funny)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983599)

idk my bff jill?

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (4, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984293)

cracka stole my arm.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984573)

I remember before text messages when BFF meant something slightly different... It always makes me laugh a little on the inside

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984417)

And sometimes there's enough garbling of the text to render it illegible...

The text is sent over a digital carrier; there's no chance of RF noise or poor reception causing the text received to actually be garbled.

Each text part is either received or not received.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (3, Funny)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984591)

he must be using one of those analog texting services.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983831)

Sometimes text is faster and cheaper, because you're not spending 90% of the call going "What? Please repeat!"

Apparently, you can land a plane with it (I can't find the /. link. Anyone?)

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984001)

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Funny)

gaderael (1081429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984613)

What the article fails to mention is that all the plane's electrical systems failed because the pilot was using his cell phone.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984089)

Plus, I'm not sure how reading a typed message from someone is any different from reading it out of a textbook.

Except that you can ask the person to clarify. I mean, yes this is funny. But it's not that goddamn funny. Or alarming at all.

Here's a headline:
"Person learns engineering by reading messages downloaded from the Internet."

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984469)

Sometimes text is faster and cheaper, because you're not spending 90% of the call going "What? Please repeat!"

Also, a voice call of any significant length is more likely to be dropped. Once the system has received a text message, it can store it and forward it in a burst, so short communications have a better chance of getting through during a given slice of connectivity. This applies even when cell systems are congested.

Not that I use texting, but I guess I should at least learn to use it. I live in California. My daughter recently told me about the more certain delivery of text messages when the Big One hits.

In a way, the better delivery of text vs. voice is vaguely analogous to the better delivery of IP vs. UDP.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984515)

Perhaps you should bother to learn what UDP and IP are before you use them in an analogy, since you obviously only have a VERY vague idea of what you are talking about.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Insightful)

bjorniac (836863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983361)

Text message will ensure that all the details get there, not some garbled, half-heard phone call. You also get all the information already available if you need to look back at it quickly and it's in neat understandable writing (anyone who's ever read a doctor's scrawl will know what I mean). For this purpose (transmitting a technical procedure step by step) it's the better of the two media.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983405)

Text message will ensure that all the details get there

But none of the vowels.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983721)

You only need a vowel if you're vet

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (4, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984327)

vwlls r vl. thts why thr r n vwlls n hbrw.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (2, Interesting)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983701)

But really, what makes this news?

Basically what happened was the guy got bob on the phone and said, "yeah bob, can you fax me over page 113 of surgery for dummies?"

Sending what amounts to textbook instructions to trained personnel in the field is hardly a noteworthy achievement.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Informative)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983731)

This is one of my favorite things about SMS. *When* the data arrive, they arrive intact.

I got my first cell phone about one year ago. I know, I know, but I really don't need one for normal communications. I just need it to place emergency calls. However (and since my prepaid arrangement allows free incoming texts), I was curious about this whole "texting" thing (which I would probably never use with another person), so decided to figure out just what is really happening. I discovered that most USA cell carriers have a text to email gateway.

Since the text messages are essentially email, I first decided to hack up a Python script that would alert me via text of any inclement weather. A simple NOAA weather data gatherer, parser, and sender to my SMS to email gateway has saved my ass numerous times. Really. And for a $10 TracPhone, that's not too bad. Of course this is not on par with doing surgery, but I thought it was pretty cool. I didn't stop there, though.

Since my carrier *does* in fact have a text to sms gateway, the communication can go two ways. Is it possible to create an *unsecure* remote shell so that I can give my home computer commands while away? Why not..? And so friends, in brief, text messages *do* in fact have use other than LOLing ur BFF, and doing remote surgery... You can monitor your torrents, and fetch new ones, kick your pesky friend off your wireless connection, write a new cron job, the possibilities are arbitrary... Just don't let anyone use your phone...

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984237)

IDK wat ur operator ds, but my datas nvr intact.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

soulfury (1229120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984435)

I think you can use your phone's GPRS/3G/HSDPA feature instead.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983851)

Text message will ensure that all the details get there, not some garbled, half-heard phone call.

If you're somewhere that calls are garbled, what assurance do you have that text messages will get through?

Text is given a very low priority on the wireless network and there is no guarantee that it will ever arrive.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984021)

If you can connect a call, you can be pretty sure that a text can come through. Even though the call can be so garbled as to be unintelligible, the text only needs a tiny bit of data to come through. Setting up a call is more "expensive" data-wise.
Also, a text doesn't need a working connection for more than an "instant", while a call requires a long, continuous connection.
Oh, and if the network nears its limit with traffic, sms is given higher priority while voice calls are dropped.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984217)

Besides, the messages can be sent by a nurse who can then read the replies - no need for the doctor to hold the phone, he might have something else to do with his hands ...

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984381)

anyone who's ever read a doctor's scrawl will know what I mean

Well, I admit that not all doctors write well, but much of this comes from people being unable to decipher the language of prescriptions. A doctor doesn't write:

Take two tablets under the tongue twice a day before meals until finished

They write:

2T SL BID AC UF

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (3, Interesting)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984457)

Text message will ensure that all the details get there, not some garbled, half-heard phone call.

There is a serious problem, though: text messages may never get to the destination or may get there late, in case the text server is busy or unavailable, and the most serious problem is that you won't know that someone had tried to text you. With phone calls, at least, you know when the line gets cut off by network problems, but with text messages you can never know unless you were expecting a particular message. There is also no guarantee that you will receive the text messages in the order they were sent, if the server has problems.

Essentially texting has very similar problems to email when the email servers and intermediaries don't work correctly.

So, imagine getting the instructions for reattaching the arm before the instructions for removing it, while the instructions for cutting the bone were never delivered at all...

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983517)

Yeah, haha. Now think for a couple seconds about actually performing phone-directed surgery, and maybe you'll see an advantage or two to using text instead of voice.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983669)

I don't know where you're from, but I (in Germany) get a text message at the price of a minute of voice, and the first 50 in every month are included in the plan price.

In other countries it's much cheaper.

.
.
.
Yeah. Other counties! Haven't you heard of them? ;)
.
.
.
Are you French or American? ;)

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983955)

In other countries it's much cheaper.

.
.
.
Yeah. Other counties! Haven't you heard of them? ;)
.
.
.
Are you French or American? ;)

I don't know about France, but here in America we celebrate a diverse selection of counties.

It's the eend... the eeend... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983995)

...to my karma. ;)

If only they knew, that I posted it as a joke, because unlike some other folks, I actually know that it's a funny stereotype.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (5, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983713)

>>I long ago discovered my text-messaging device allows me to talk directly to another person through his or her text-messaging device. Amazing!

You mean those wireless devices which replaced the devices which ran over wires which were originally built to text messages to each other in morse?

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (2, Informative)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983773)

Not only that, but there are times it takes a half hour or longer for me to get a text message from my friend on another carrier. And we're both in the same bar room.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984361)

It is possible to send messages by sound without using any electronic equipment. If your muscles are developed enough for you to be able to walk to the bar, you may still have working vocal chords. If you exercise them, they won't atrophy away by the age of 20 like they do in most people.

Did you miss the part where he's IN AFRICA? (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983973)

Did you somehow miss the part where he was calling from Africa to the UK? Have you never priced an international call?

Assume that you're an Orange customer. (It's the first UK cell phone provider I could think of off the top of my head.) Roaming in Africa and calling England costs £1.20/minute (or over $1.75/minute) if you have the Orange Travel plan.

Texting is much, much cheaper. In fact, in Africa, it's the dominant form of cell phone communication because voice rates are so ridiculously high in comparison even among local carriers, according to a family member who spent several months there on a mission trip.

Re:Did you miss the part where he's IN AFRICA? (1)

UltraAyla (828879) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984343)

Exactly - I'm glad to see someone pointed this out already. In Africa, texting is far cheaper than talking on the phone. While the absolute cheapest I could get calls to DEVELOPED parts of Africa was 25 cents per minute, an international text message costs the same. Congo's rates would be far worse (plus the cost of airtime) so that it makes sense that this was conducted by text message - the surgery probably took hours as it was - voice calling in Africa is simply too spotty for that.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

oljanx (1318801) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984099)

It's a neat story. You're so not invited to my birthday party, you party pooper.

Re:interestingly the text message device could be (1)

Not_A_Jew (1363015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984397)

Juggling chainsaws one-handed again, Yagu?

Not A Jew

Costly (4, Funny)

mmxsaro (187943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983309)

Must have been an expensive operation considering the price of text messaging today.

Re:Costly (2, Funny)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983497)

Yes, and his words most have been really cutting.

Re:Costly (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983905)

Yes if you remember the cost of retrieving data from the Hubble Space Telescope vs. the cost of sending a text message you'll see that it costs an arm.

I wonder (1)

Endloser (1170279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983321)

if this submission was sent by text... "sent my text"

However, it should be noted (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983325)

He intended to do a prostate exam, so it's not quite as good as it sounds.

How do you fit complex instructions in text? (5, Funny)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983341)

Taken from the text logs:

MK UR FST CT ALNG CLR BON WTH STRLZD RZR K?

Things got a little dangerous when another text message came in from his wife mid operation.

U WANT LEG OR SHOLDER CUT FOR DINR?

Heh, but still some great work. It's tragic though that there's still a dearth of medical facilities in some countries and life-saving make-do operations like this are common. Kudos to Medicines Sans Frontiers for doing what our own governments should be doing.

GrpA

Re:How do you fit complex instructions in text? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983539)

--->8---CUT HERE--->8---

Re:How do you fit complex instructions in text? (2, Insightful)

Zibblsnrt (125875) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984133)

A lot of medical jargon is (A) incredibly standardized and (B) designed to abbreviate.

Ever hear a doctor reciting a prescription over the phone to a pharmacist? They can compress a substantial amount of information about dosages, timing, when to take/avoid something, etc., into maybe a dozen characters. It'd be a bit moreso when you're talking about *removing someone's shoulder blade* (gah!), but if people on both sides know the jargon for anatomy and techniques, you'd probably be surprised at how much information you can condense without causing confusion.

Computing in the developing world (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983381)

Stories like this make me wonder if cell phones will be the devices that actually deliver on the promise of OLPC.

Soo... (5, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983387)

What exactly _is_ the emoticon for 'cut off limb X'?

Re:Soo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983427)

I believe it goes something along the lines of:

>-|O = >-|O - 0.5*(|)

Re:Soo... (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983523)

That is ambiguous.
(|) looks suspiciously a lot like a mouth, a butt, female genitalia, etc. Wouldn't want to remove the wrong extremity.

I believe this one is clearer for the amputation of an arm:

8-@!-<

Re:Soo... (2, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983993)

I believe this one is clearer for the amputation of an arm:

8-@!-<

Or a Prince Albert gone horribly wrong.

Re:Soo... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983537)

>-|O = >-|O - 0.5*(|)

So, remove half of the sleeping head? OK.

Re:Soo... (5, Funny)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983531)

:->-<
..^..
this
one

It's quite simple, really.

Re:Soo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983541)

X => Y_
Duh

Re:Soo... (5, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984045)

o|-< + 8< 8< -> o,-<

Re:Soo... (1)

tubegeek (958995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984221)

If only I had mod points, you would be getting some. Well played.

Amputation by text message? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983403)

See? That's why I don't want a cell phone.

Re:Amputation by text message? (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983463)

Yes, that's why I traded mine for a bone saw long ago, because, well, you never know.

Re:Amputation by text message? (2, Funny)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983627)

Now we need this innovation to come full circle so that we can surgically remove cell phones with txting capability from British teenagers.

I wonder what it sounded like... (5, Funny)

Laser_iCE (1125271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983411)

DN: hai r u awake?? im wrkn, ths guys missn heaps of his arm, wwyd?
MT: lol sup? tru tru... kk well ur guna need 2 do a 4 1/4 amp. req rm of the cola bone n shlda blde.
DN: yea nm nm...... ok so txt me how
MT: ok is he there now?
DN: no im at home
MT: txt me wen u get there k?

Re:I wonder what it sounded like... (5, Funny)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983691)

LOL! wrong arm!

Re:I wonder what it sounded like... (0, Offtopic)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984385)

k



------ anti-lameness filter

In the US you will likely be billed $1 per text + (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983419)

In the US you will likely be billed $1 per text + your rate each way + other doctors rate and you hmo says we don't pay for texts so we will pay $0 as we don't don't part pay for operations

Re:In the US you will likely be billed $1 per text (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984603)

In the US you will likely be billed $1 per text

So use a laptop with an IM client. Magnify the text to make it more readable. Might even be useful to exchange photos or videos.

whole story (5, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983435)

I heard the doctor actually texted full instructions on how to reattach the arm but after 151 characters it got cut off.

Re:whole story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983991)

Ho ho!

Re:whole story (1, Flamebait)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984005)

That was awesome. You win 4 internets.

-l

Re:whole story (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984065)

Where's the +100 Funny when you need it? Best joke I've heard all week dude. :)

Re:whole story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984645)

I heard the doctor actually texted full instructions on how to reattach the arm but after 151 characters it got cut off.

So...? The object was to cut it off in the first place.

y u btchn?

Old News (5, Funny)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983499)

Verizon takes an arm and leg for text messages every month, so amputation by text message isn't anything new.

Re:Old News (1)

Iced_Eagle (1276052) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984401)

I have no words. Easily one of the best comments in a while! And due to your complaints, Verizon has decided that next month they will only take your appendix. I mean, it's useless, right?

oh noes i cut teh art3ry (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983521)

no wai reely? kid is 8-X X-P brb

k thx lol

Who else already learned how to do this through... (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983607)

...MySpace? I especially like the embedded video clips.

Seriously, teaching someone how to do an operation through text messages will do the opposite of instilling trust in patients. I wonder if he came out of the operating room and said to the worried family, "Mrs Robinson, The operation went great, just like was written in the text message! I am going to stay at my Holiday in Express now."

This reminds me of the commercial... (3, Funny)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983619)

...where this guy's doctor was talking him through doing an appendectomy. "It's very straightforward."

seriously... (4, Insightful)

Cyrus20 (1345311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983649)

we joke about this.. but it really is amazing that this was possible. can you imagine taking directions for something like that through a text and doing it. to me it would be like someone texting me directions on how to build an engine and me truly making it run

Re:seriously... (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984073)

Well, not really. At least, not unless you are very familiar with engine assembly already.

The guy sending the text messages was an experienced surgeon who had performed the type of amputation that needed to be done. The guy receiving the texts was also an experienced surgeon, but not in that area of medicine.

If you are very good at assembling small block Chevy engines and you're sitting in your garage with a disassembled Mopar 340, I could probably tell you how to put it together. At least, once upon a time; it's been a while and I might need one in front of me as a model, or at least a shop manual, these days. If you couldn't even put a valve cover on by yourself, the task would be a lot harder.

OTOH, assembling a carbureted overhead valve V-8 isn't that hard. A typical four-cyclinder engine today, with its four valves per cylinder, overhead cam(s) and computer-controlled fuel injection, is a lot more complicated. Someone who was both a real expert and good at remove instruction probably could talk a novice mechanic through assembling a 1960s American car engine and have it actually run.

Re:seriously... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984539)

It's more like texting someone who already has a basic knowledge about engines and how to build/repair them.

With specialized instructions on how to repair a specific component of a certain engine, to an engineer with practically experience with the procedure under unique circumstances.

The thing is, while the less-experienced individual can attempt a repair, and they may have a fair chance of performing the repair/replace with no complications,

It's much better for them to get some detailed notes from a guy who has installed that part a few times.

The engineer would probably figure out how to repair the part on their own, eventually, but when it's a matter of life and death... it's 1000%+ better if success is likely with as few problems (and as little harm) as possible.

And as little hesitation as possible (i.e. ideally no ad-hoc guesses should need to be made during a procedure at a time-sensitive moment).

The cost of failure, isn't merely $$$ to replace damaged parts, versus the cost of hiring another consultant.

Man... (3, Funny)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983717)

I'm kinda glad we have to pay for incoming text messages now. At least that guy who wants to ampute me will have to think twice before pressing send!

yes! yes! yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983753)

We are almost getting to the point where it will be possible to stab people in the internet!

In Soviet Russia... (1)

InSovietRussiaTroll (1282606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25983869)

... the party amputates you!

Anyone keeping tally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25983917)

Lives saved by texting: 1

Loves lost by texting: ???

Please don't tell Blue Cross... (4, Interesting)

Skater (41976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984031)

They'll be all over this method of reducing healthcare costs!

Re:Please don't tell Blue Cross... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984555)

They'll be all over this method of reducing healthcare costs!

It doesn't reduce costs.

It's cheaper to exchange e-mail.

That is, unless sender/recipient has no internet connection (not very likely these days).

And the first 10 minutes went like this: (1)

XSpud (801834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984121)

> Thank you for taking the time to assist me Dr
>> np

> What do you mean?
>> No problem, its textspeak, shrtn words by mssng vowels, abbrvtin words etc its sppsd 2 b qckr

> Great! Time is of the essense
>> You mnt gr8 ;-)

> :-) iv hrd bt ths txtspk - gttng th hng f ths nw
>> So, wuts th prblm

> hv b hr wth gngrn
>> b??

> boy
>> whr?

> cng
>> ??

> congo
>> no, i mnt whr is gngrn

> in rm
>> n room n cng?

> no, n arm f by n cng
>> is hs hd ffctd?

> no, jst hs rm
>> soz - fngr trbl, mnt hnd

etc

 

Huh? Why the heck is this news? (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984159)

What is this, a "The Onion" article?

Are you guys kidding?

Why is this news and a front page article?

I mean we've been using SMS/txting on a regular basis for over 10 years now here in the Philippines! It's our primary means of communication as it's so much cheaper than voice calls.

"Indonesia Shariah law declares that husband may now divorce wife by texting 'I divorce you' thrice" is news.

This is like putting "Employee at McDonalds cooks burger" as front page news

wtf.

Not to sound like a troll, but what's so amazing with this incident? How is any more amazing than sending urgent instructions via fax?

Cost of SMS is not even a factor coz those guys are doctors from FIRST WORLD countries, and as for tech in the bush, setting up cel towers is way cheaper than laying down miles of cable which could be stolen by thieves looking to sell metal to scrap heaps.

Wtf, even poor folk shanty-town dwellers here in Manila regularly SMS with their family back in far-flung remote mountains in the provinces.

Wtf why is this news? Here in the Philippines, overthrowing entire governments with txt messages is like a boring everyday thing.

What is this, the stone age?

Re:Huh? Why the heck is this news? (1)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984199)

Ok trollman, I would kindly suggest two things to put on your to do list.

  • Visit Congo
  • RTFA

(in any order)

Re:Huh? Why the heck is this news? (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984345)

Sure vawarayer.

*RTFA

Yeah, before I posted.

*Visit Congo

Why should I? We already have our own remote mountain-jungles and dirt-cheap poor communities who live on way less than a dollar a day, thank you.

Why don't you come over and volunteer here? We could use the help with medical missions to our less fortunate countryment who can't afford medicines and don't have access to basic medical needs.

Try living in a third-world country for a change.

Re:Huh? Why the heck is this news? (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984351)

may I add, 'Look up procedure to amputate some ones arm'

Re:Huh? Why the heck is this news? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984395)

no I think in that order will do.
May cut his assignment in half.
if you travel by way of Darful then may not even have to visit the DRC.
-nB

Re:Huh? Why the heck is this news? (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984513)

FTFA: "I knew exactly what my colleague meant because we have operated together many times."

Big whoop. They were expert doctors from the UK who've operated together many times.

Now on the other hand if the Brit volunteer doctor in the Congo was simultaneously txting with one hand and performing surgery with the other...

:D!

Is "Amputation by text message" better or worse. . (1)

tubegeek (958995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984231)

. . . than "trial by ordeal" or "death by bulu"?

RTFA (1)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984233)

And, just for the sake of clarity and because it does seem to have been forgotten: they were both doctors! There was probably no need for a step by step take-your-knife-and-cut-exactly-there-then-cut-there-and-there typa thing. Just a set of quick instructions to help for this typical type of intervention would have been good, i'd assume.

Doctors Without Frontiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25984403)

... is what we call it in the real world...

Google does this (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25984511)

Just text "amputation instructions" to 466453. I've used it twice, it works pretty well.

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