A patient live blogs his hospital stay, looking for a cure

Here’s a novel, and incredible, use of social media in health care.

A 40-year old man was admitted several days ago with a fever of unknown origin. His significant other, Laura, is live blogging his hospital stay — hoping to solicit other medical opinions on the case, as there is no clear reason on what is causing his symptoms.

Blogging at The Z Update, here’s an excerpt of how he presented:

Z’s been running a nightly fever for the past 3 weeks (gone by day), and last Monday saw his GP when the fever persisted and began to creep upwards. His doctor recommended a few basic tests, which led to a CT scan of his abdomen on Thursday (standard procedure for a fever of unknown origin — FUO). After the CT scan showed an 8cm “blob” (not tumor) on his liver, the GP recommended he do an MRI and a few more tests with specialists — and the easiest way to accomplish this was to check into the hospital.

Test and imaging results, along with conversations with various consultants have all been disclosed on the blog.

The patient, who has given me permission to publicize and link to his blog, has “open-sourced” his medical records, in hopes of having fresh pairs of eyes look at his case — all while still an inpatient at the hospital. As he puts it, “The more cooks the better the soup!”

Best wishes “Z,” and if anyone can help, feel free to comment over at the blog.

Update:
The patient has left the hospital. Listen what he has to say about the experience.

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