Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Texas Presbyterian: Nurses In Ebola Care Given "Adequate Training;" "Should Have Followed PPE Protocol"

Dallas, TX

Prompted by public outcry over the Ebola infection of two Dallas-area nurses, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital issued a statement stressing the high level of training given to all employees on their Ebola isolation unit.  "All of our doctors, nurses, and patient support staff were made adequately aware of the hazards associated with treatment of patients infected with Ebola virus disease," stated Mike Hamilton, spokesperson for the hospital.

"The website for the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is referenced on at least one sign in the isolation wing, sufficiently outlines procedures for interacting with infected persons," continued Hamilton.  "Plus, the hospital has a closet stocked with masks and gowns and stuff like that."

"What happened here is a tragic accident; however, it should be noted that the nurses in question were given adequate training, and had previously performed proper isolation procedures on flu-patients while under supervision."

When reached for comment, corporate liability attorney John Davidson and legal council for Texas Health Presbyterian stated "Look, the hospital has done its due diligence here.  Really, it's the nurses' fault -- they should have followed proper personal protective equipment protocol."  Davidson, whose retainer is as yet undisclosed, is one of the four attorneys and seven paralegal assistants representing the hospital, a team which has so far billed over $500,000 in legal fees to the hospital.

An anonymous source at the hospital indicated that Hatrick Parran, the  attending physician at the time of both nurses' exposure, was in a hurry to get the incident behind him.  "After the news went public, he [Parran] kept going on about how this was going to 'ruin his career.'  I think in the end administration just had him retake the OSHA-required online blood-borne pathogen awareness course.  It was all really hush-hush."

Friday, October 10, 2014

OSHA Study Finds Literally Every Single Research Lab Non-Compliant With Safety Regs

Washington, DC


A newly-released study conducted by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that literally every single research laboratory in the United States -- both academic and industrial -- was "grossly non-compliant with federally mandated health and safety codes."

In a statement to the press, David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor and administrative head of OSHA stated his surprise with the findings.  "Frankly, we knew safety compliance was a major issue in the research setting.  But, after exhaustively conducting interviews and site visits, both unannounced and prearranged, we have concluded that there is not a single research facility within OSHA's jurisdiction that is not flagrantly in violation of standardized safety regulations.  Many negligently so."

"I mean, Jesus tap-dancing Christ, guys," Michaels continued with visible irritation, "Not one of you absent-minded fucks could be arsed to maintain clear egress routes.  You do realize that you need at minimum twenty-six inches of uncluttered walking space in all hallways?  What are you sons of bitches going to do when some halfwit kicks over a Bunsen burner you need to haul ass out of the burning building?  According to our findings, 78 percent of you poor bastards will trip over a glassware disposal bin and proceed to either asphyxiate from smoke inhalation or roast in the conflagration."

After pausing to look at his notes, Michaels added with exasperation, "It's a goddamned miracle there are any living research scientists in the country."

"And you know there's a reason you can't stack shit closer than eighteen inches to the ceiling, right?" he continued admonishingly.  "It's not because we're being non-discriminatory toward short people."

"Take a guess how many emergency eye-wash stations were in working condition.  Go ahead, guess.  I'll wait."  Michaels stated, with a dramatic pause.  "No one?  36 percent, that's how many."

"I swear on my mother's grave, you all are the reason I drink," he concluded, before retiring from the press room.

The study, published by OSHA's internal press liaison, further stated that, of all laboratories surveyed, not one maintained properly labeled and stored chemical waste containers.  In addition, it was found "that an abso-fucking-lutely astounding [sic] 56% of fire extinguishers were mounted on walls opposite exits."

As of press time, all 1.3 million of America's research scientists were naively going about their lab responsibilities, either unaware of or indifferent to, the reality that their respective places of employment were "massive steel and concrete death-traps."

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Shock Chemistry Nobel for Mitchell Graupel Prompts Accusations of Name Mix-Up

Stockholm, Sweden

C&EN Onion European Chemical Sciences Correspondent Fluorogrol Reports

A spokesman for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences today vigorously defended the surprise award of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to previously unknown technician Mitchell Graupel, for "pioneering work in the field of dye-sensitized solar cells," dismissing suggestions that the intended recipient was Prof. Michael Grätzel (EPF Lausanne) as "cynical in the extreme."

Graupel (41), a lab technician at Australian photovoltaics giant Sunspot, described the award as "a surprise, but well-deserved," before recounting how he had berated the Nobel Committee representative who called to break the news, initially believing that "she was trying to sell me solar panels or some shit."

Accusations of a mix-up began to reverberate around social media within minutes of the announcement. Several observers commented that Googling various misspellings of Prof. Grätzel's name along with 'DSSCs' brought up Graupel's details on the Sunspot website, fuelling speculation that the award was the result of typographical error. 

Stuart Cantrill, editor of the glamour magazine Nature Chemistry, was particularly upset after tipping the EPFL scientist in a Google Hangout last week. "It's a travesty," he said, "I bet the journal's entire 2015 budget on Grätzel."

Karen Richards, Vice President for Research and Development, responded on behalf of Sunspot: "We are delighted, of course. Mitchell has always been a dedicated, diligent technician, but even we hadn't realized just how ground-breaking his work is. The downside is that we've just chucked 25 grand [AUS$25,000; US$23,300] on marketing materials that don't even mention our Nobel laureate. Senseless waste."

Speaking anonymously to C&EN Onion, a Nobel Committee member reinforced the suspicion of error, describing it as "the biggest balls-up since we gave the 2002 prize to a bunch of analytical chemists."