A Patient’s Story

by Academy of Clinical Excellence on May 12, 2011

Every once in a while we receive a note from a grateful patient who wishes to share their experience. The following letter is from a patient of Dr. Kraus:

About a year ago, I received a transplant of a four-month-old kidney into my 74 year old body.While the transplant itself was an enormous success, there was one particular hiccup in the recovery process that deserves some attention.

A few days after being discharged, I was back in the hospital due to a urinary leak.While standing in front of the sink, I felt light-headed.The wheelchair was right behind me so I sat down, then blacked out for a few seconds.

Dr. Ed Kraus came to evaluate the situation.He and an intern showed up.Dr. Kraus introduced the Intern as a Harvard Med graduate.He explained that Hopkins is a teaching hospital and asked if it would be all right if the Intern examined me.I replied that would be OK.Both looked at my chart and examined me.Dr. Kraus asked her to evaluate my condition then recommend a course of treatment.

Looking at the chart, the Intern postulated that the high sugar level in my urine might be a factor.Dr. Kraus nodded and asked her to examine my leg.“What do you see?” he asked.

She felt my leg and pinched my skin.“His skin is shriveled like a prune’s,” she said.

“And what does that tell you?” Dr. Kraus asked.

She looked at my chart again.“He’s getting a high sodium I.V.That’s wrong,” she said.

“What should it be?”

“Low sodium iv.He’s dehydrated.That’s why he passed out,” she said.

What was so memorable about this whole process was Dr. Kraus’ use of the Socratic method of teaching.A time-tested and proven teaching method.I was happy to be the recipient of such wisdom.

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Bell May 12, 2011 at 11:10 am


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