Monday, May 2, 2011

Grey's Anatomy, do your homework please!

I don't know how many of you watch Grey's, but they seriously need to do a little better research before throwing an inaccurate micro-preemie story line in there.  I know, I know - it's just a show! (Ha - that rhymes.) 

I went to a friend's house last Thursday night for a Mom's Night Out get-together.  I was hoping they would not all be watching Grey's.  I knew this episode was going to show Callie's baby in the NICU, and I did not want to have some emotional breakdown in front of everyone.  Luckily, we just all drank wine and talked.  When I got home, I nestled up on the couch to feed the babies their midnight bottles and watch my DVR'd Grey's.  I was all prepared to cry and have an emotional breakdown.  Instead, I watched the show constantly saying, "Yeah, right! Like that would really happen."

If you plug in the numbers for this baby on the National Institute of Health's calculator for pre-term babies, this baby would have had a 14% chance of even surviving.  (23 weeks, 1 lb. 1 oz, no antenatal corticosteroids )  I thought, "Okay, maybe she will survive.  After all, miracles happen."  The first unrealistic part was the suggestion that maybe they should intubate the baby.  Uhhh, yeah!  She practically has no lungs.  It might be a good idea to go ahead and put that breathing tube down her throat like NOW!  Then they skipped forward to her at 5 weeks old on CPAP.  Okay, that could be realistic, but most likely not if she didn't get the steroids to develop her lungs.  Then they acted like the PDA was an emergency surgery.  Not really.  It would have been planned out way before it was an emergency.  I also just loved the way that all the general student doctors were performing the surgery too instead of neo-natalogists and experienced cardiologists.  Then they show her going home at 12 weeks.  Come on!  She was born 17 weeks early.  I doubt that there has EVER been a baby who was born 17 weeks early go home after only 12 weeks in the NICU especially one who did not receive steroids.  I couldn't ignore the fact that they said they had the monitors and oxygen tank ready to take her home.  Where was the cannula that should have been in her nose delivering the oxygen?  So, they are trying to convince us that this baby who was born at 23 weeks with no steroids with only a 14 % chance of survival needed only a little supplemental oxygen at night when she slept?  Well, isn't she the luckiest baby ever?  She had the easiest NICU stay I've ever heard of.  Come on, Grey's - do your homework next time or create a little more believable story line with a 25 week baby or so.  If you are going to pull out the shock factor of having a 23 week baby, you have to follow up with some realistic situations for a 23 week baby.

Now my question is who is going to stay home with this baby in isolation for a year, take the baby to a million specialist appointments, go to countless therapy appointments, struggle to get the baby to eat and gain weight and reach milestones, etc., fight with insurance, and on and on and on.  Grey's - you're just not ready to take on a micro-preemie.  Ask any of us who know.

The last most annoying part of the whole show was that they had a segment promoting Alzheimer's research after the show (which is great), but where is the clip for prematurity research?  I'm sure it was a paid advertisement, and no one paid for a prematurity clip, but I still found it annoying.

1 comment:

Megan said...


I was at least glad to see the story line showed the baby through 12 weeks (even if in only 1 hour). I feared she's be in the NICU one episode and home the next week.

I also wondered about the subject choice for the PSA at the end.