March 5, 2008

Positivity: Woman thanks saviors for quick care

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:21 pm

From Camp Pendleton, in California (video is at link):

Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:02 PM PST

Gratitude brought Cecilia Showman and her family to Camp Pendleton Wednesday. View A Video

“I needed to thank the people that saved me,” Showman said, minutes after hugging two of the three Navy hospital corpsmen whose quick work helped her survive the sudden cardiac arrest she suffered at a Vista sushi restaurant on Dec. 14.

Showman, 33, said she was eating dinner with her 8-year-old daughter, Megan, when her heart suddenly stopped beating. Nearby sat three corpsmen, two of them recently returned from Iraq. Corpsman Third Class Margaret Reusi said Wednesday that the noise coming from the nearby table told her something was wrong.

“We heard the dishes fall and then we heard a little girl calling for help,” Reusi said. “We just went over there and started CPR.”

Chest compressions started Showman’s heart beating again; she had a pulse by the time Vista paramedics arrived. Vista Capt. Joe Napier, who responded to the call, said the patient’s heart stopped again shortly after he arrived and had to be shocked back into action with an portable electronic defibrillator. Though the timely shock worked, Showman slipped into a coma as the ambulance crew rushed her to the nearest emergency room at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside.

Dr. Robert Orr, Showman’s cardiologist, said emergency room doctors noticed Showman was in a coma and decided to induce hypothermia, a new technique gaining traction in hospitals throughout the United States. Doctors and nurses draped Showman with cooling blankets, forcing her core body temperature to drop to between 89.6 and 93.2 degrees, far below the average normal temperature of 98.6.

Orr said hypothermia treatment has been observed to decrease the amount of damage that patients receive when blood stops flowing to their brains in an event like a heart attack.

“Studies have shown that it slows the metabolism down and there is less brain damage,” Orr said.

Orr said doctors call Showman’s heart condition “sudden cardiac death” because the heart stops completely rather than adopting an abnormal or weak rhythm. He said a viral infection likely caused the problem.

After six days in a coma, Showman woke up with her intellect intact and immediately set about thanking those who saved her life. Orr and the Tri-City nurses came first.

“I just got excellent care and I wanted them to know that,” she said.

Go here for the rest of the story.

ISM’s February Indices: A Net Improvement, with Much More Needed

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:26 pm

The two February reports from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on the state of the economy came in, on the whole, better than January — but that’s not saying much.

ISM’s Manufacturing Index, released Monday, came in at 48.3, representing a retreat into contraction after a slight-expansion 50.7 reading in January (any reading above 50 means expansion). While it did slightly beat analysts’ expectations of 48.1, a look at the history (revised a bit as of the first of the year) shows that the sector is treading water, having contracted in two of the past three months, while failing to break 50.7 in the past six.

The silver lining in the Manufacturing report is ISM’s statement that “the overall economy grew for the 76th consecutive month.”

It must not have grown by much, because today’s Non-Manufacturing Index (NMI) also came in showing a slight contraction. Though February’s 49.3 reading was a vast improvement over January’s awful 44.6, it’s the second month in a row of contraction after an unprecedented 57-month expansion streak.

Taken in combination, February was better than January, but a far cry from December. Here is how the months compare, when combining the indices using a 15-85 Manufacturing/NMI weighting:

December 2007 — (.85 x 53.9) + (.15 x 48.4) = 53.07
January 2008 — (.85 x 44.6) + (.15 x 50.7) = 45.51
February 2008 — (.85 x 49.3) + (.15 x 48.3) = 49.15

Overall, the weighted indices are a bit less than halfway back to where they were in December. That’s going back in the right direction, but more is needed. Perhaps the recently-passed stimulus package will help bring things back, but passing legislation to keep the 2003 federal income-tax system in place, and then cutting rates further, would have been much better tonics.

Super Tuesday Jr. Cleanup Comments

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:26 am

The Real Clear Politics delegate count has BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) up on HR4C (Hillary Rodham Cackling Crying Complaining Clinton) 1542-1447. There are nine Ohio and 45 Texas delegates not yet determined.

While I don’t think you can overstate how much weaker Obama is today than he was 24 hours ago, Mrs. Clinton still has a very tough climb. Getting her tainted “wins” in Michigan and Florida to count, and getting “already-committed” Obama superdelegates back into her camp, both appear crucial to her winning the nomination. Each has the danger of seriously alienating those who didn’t vote for her.

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From the “Told Ya” Department:

  • Last night (11:17 p.m. item at post) I wrote, “Questions for those of you who crossed over from GOPLand to vote for Hillary tonight, and the alleged geniuses who encouraged it: What if Obama is so weakened that he loses big in Pennsylvania, and accepts the idea of becoming her Veep? How will you feel about your contribution to that near-juggernaut scenario?”
  • Story this morning: “Clinton Hints At Sharing Ticket With Obama” — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hinted at the possibility of a democratic “dream ticket” with Sen. Barack Obama.

Even if that nightmare doesn’t come to pass, I question GOP crossovers who today are happy that the Dem fight will drag on until probably mid-May. That’s 75 more days where Clinton v. Obama will use up the available oxygen and keep John McCain’s name out of the public eye. If it’s “John who?” by Memorial Day, whose fault will that be?

Radio talkers and others who advocated and carried out the “Save Hillary” strategy yesterday may have a lot to answer for in eight months.

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I know there’s more bad blood between these two than the Hatfields and McCoys, but Jean Schmidt had no business calling Tom Brinkman a “fringe candidate” — and it’s a big tactical mistake.

Fringe, schminge, Jean. He got almost 40% of the vote. These are 28,000 people whose votes you will need in November.

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How sweet it is — Runner-up John “Check ‘n GONE” Rabenold spent about $230,000 in his attempt to buy the OH-35 State Rep race. That’s about $37 for each of the 6,196 votes he received. I wouldn’t be surprised if winner Ron Maag spent less than $3.70 for each of his 6,727 votes.

I give this result a 5-Snoopy rating (graphic blatantly stolen from Weapons of Mass Discussion — of course, originally from the late Charles Schulz):

SnoopySnoopySnoopySnoopySnoopy

Well, at least Rabenold can take comfort in the fact that his loss isn’t as embarrassing as Pat DeWine’s $183 per vote debacle in 2005′s OH-02 Special GOP primary. DeWine spent $1 million and got 5,467 votes, finishing a distant fourth in a field of 11.