Now I know why pilots need check-lists

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by Canadi>n, Jul 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Last week I was on AC1 in J to NRT. Midway through the flight I headed up to the forward washroom and observed one of the pilots coming out of it. I paused a moment thinking he'd reenter the cockpit and I might get handcuffed if I tried to make a move too quickly in that direction, but he headed the other way to get some coffee or conversation with the FAs. So I entered the loo and locked myself in, and lifted the lid on the toilet only to see a pool of liquid still in it! Yikes, he forgot to flush... Got me to thinking it's a good thing pilots have to go through a printed check-list before the plane leaves the ground!

    Then again, maybe airlines should start posting a check list on the mirror: "1. Lift lid on toilet; 2. Lift seat on toilet if you're a male planning a #1; 3. Place a toilet seat tissue paper protector on the seat if you're a woman or a man planning a #2; 4. Do your thing (if a male doing #1, please aim for the centre of the toilet bowl); 5. Lower the lid (and seat if you're a male just done #1); 6. FLUSH THE TOILET; 7. Wash your hands; 8. Zip yourself up.
     
  2. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Maybe he ascribes to "If it's brown, flush it down, if its yellow, let it mellow" :p

    alternately, as least it wasn't a #2 he forgot to flush!
     
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  3. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    If the pilot dropped a bomb in there you'd have to notify CATSA.
     
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  4. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    Personally, I prefer to "secure the premises" before washing, lest Wet Hand Syndrome lead to the heartbreak of Embarrassing Trouser Fly Damp Spot That Isn't What It Looks Like Syndrome (aka a botley, per Douglas Adams).
     
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  5. 2MM_Guy
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    2MM_Guy Gold Member

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    Recently, Atul Gawande came out with a book called "The Checklist Manifesto". It was a sensation in the health community, elevating list making to the ranks of the Hippocratic Oath (a slight exaggeration to make the point).

    Us folks in the Engineering/Science community wondered out loud: They don't have lists in the OR? Reeeeaaally!?! :eek:

    Here is the link for the book: http://gawande.com/the-checklist-manifesto
     
  6. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    Yeah, I saw that one and had the same thought.
     
  7. 2MM_Guy
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    2MM_Guy Gold Member

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    Please note that Dr. Gawande is a well respected medical practitioner, professor and writer (his articles in The New Yorker are always thought provoking), but this topic really threw me for a loop.

    Here is the abridged version: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/10/071210fa_fact_gawande
     
  8. rehoult
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    rehoult Gold Member

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    Oh I meant no disrespect to the book or author; it was very well done. It was mostly a "Wait, you guys don't already use lists?" response. If I didn't have a list for my financial statements I'd never get everything in that is supposed to be; there are too many small things that are easy to overlook.
     
  9. 2MM_Guy
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    I know you didn't, but in retrospect I may have (when I re-read my post). I think we're good.
     
  10. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Yes, I read about and saw him (didn't he have a co-author?) a couple of years ago when the book came out and it was quite a shock to learn the medical professional had no such procedures in place. Then I began to spend time in hospitals with my aged mother and I realized how backward the medical profession really was! There is so little discipline to most procedures and sitting and observing any efficiency expert could identify hundreds of procedures that could be easily addressed. The waste on so many levels is frightening...particularly when lives are involved. As the authors noted, if the airline industry modelled itself on the health care industry, we'd have a crash every couple of hours! Fortunately, the health care industry has started to adopt lists, at least in the operating theatre, but there's much more to do to produce efficiencies and reduce spiralling costs without compromising care...in fact such practices would improve care, put money where it's needed in support staff salaries (like cleaners, para-medical assistants, and nurses). But I digress...having last year survived three turns in the OR which grounded me for a couple of months!
     
  11. I just had some minor surgery where I was given a full anasthetic. I was asked about 4 different times what my surgery was for and the procedure was given to me twice. Before I went down for the count the surgeon did a complete check of everything he needed and went through the surgery with the nursing staff.
    I also saw someone prepped for shoulder surgery and the surgeon came into the preop room and signed his name to the shoulder being operated on after asking the patient which one was being done.
     
  12. igloocoder
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    igloocoder Silver Member

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    A number of years ago I had a plate and bucket of screws put into my arm. In the operating room just prior to surgery the anaesthesiologist tried putting the needle and drip into the arm that was going to be cut open. I suggested that, while I didn't know his job all that well, I found it interesting that this was the case. A quick look at my chart and he confirmed what I was saying and moved to the other side of the table. I will admit that my confidence dropped a bit at that time.
     

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