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Posted by Ishani Ganguli June 21, 2013 07:00 AM
Soon after posting a blog entry on airplane medicine, I got an email from Jodi Larson, an Associate Director for my residency program and Assistant Chair at Newton-Wellesley Hospitalís Department of Medicine. Turns out, the cat story is true and she was one of its (non-feline) protagonists.
A few details had been lost along the way: About ten years ago, Jodi was flying from Boston to her then job in San Francisco. Along with a pediatric resident from Childrenís Hospital Boston, she answered the distressed call of teenagers who had chosen a cross-country flight for their house-catsí first real world outing and had medicated them with Librium (an anxiety medication in the same drug class as Xanax and Ativan) to withstand the journey. The pediatric resident wouldnít give up on the cat that had already died, so Jodi had to physically pull him off to focus on the one with a fighting chance. They did, in fact, place a breathing tube in the second cat before connecting with an on-ground veterinarian who guided them on cat-appropriate treatment to reverse Libriumís effects. Cat number two survived.
The flight attendants rewarded Jodi with airplane wine and her husband with several beers. A month later, she found a flight voucher and a thank you note in her mailbox. Her act of heroism even helped launch her career: During her interview with the head of hospital medicine at Newton-Wellesley, she writes in an email, her potential boss asked her how she felt about cats: "I replied I donít particularly like them but I had coded a cat a few weeks before on a flight. She loved it and I am sure that is why I got hired."
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