It’s important to tell your doctor the truth. It’s even more important to tell your child’s doctor the truth.
Children’s Hospital Colorado apparently doesn’t agree, announcing they would be removing genders from identification bracelets last Thursday.
We’ve removed #gender markers from patient wristbands and more. See how else we support our #transgender and #nonbinary patients at our hospital: https://t.co/XpshzXg4oz #TransHealth #LGBTHealth pic.twitter.com/e3m6WvQ7CK
— Children’s Colorado (@ChildrensColo) September 20, 2018
Singular in utility yet diverse in applications, the hospital ID bracelet is a marvel of the modern healthcare system.
The bracelet’s function is simple: it holds information. Modern bands are printed with basic patient information, and often have bar codes that can be scanned to access records from a computer.
Bands also have one persistent quality that the digital era hasn’t been able to make obsolete. Made of paper and plastic, the bracelets function during power outages, fires, floods and can even give doctors crucial information if the patient is incapacitated.
They can even, at a glance and with no awkwardness, reveal the sex of someone.
At Children’s Hospital Colorado, a collapsed patient wouldn’t be able reveal their gender to a doctor no matter how loudly they’re asked about their pronouns.
The idea originally began in a diversity task force, which only confirms this idea was bad to begin with.
Dr. Natalie Nokoff explained staff were seeing “more and more” transgender patients at the hospital.
“In aspects of their identity or body parts that they have for safety reasons are documented elsewhere. That’s still captured in the medical record. We didn’t feel like there was any reason why that had to be publicly displayed on a wristband or sticker.”
And while the omission seems minor, gender does play a role in medicine.
Diet, age and weight all affect how drugs interact with the body. Interference between two drugs is not uncommon, which shows the need for meticulous and accurate records.
Gender can also have a profound effect on medicine in the body.
Biological sex can greatly determine how the body responds to antidepressants and other drugs. One neuroscientist even said doctors were “essentially overdosing” their female patients by prescribing what would be the normal amount of Ambien for a male.
But with abortion still legal and powerful hormone blockers being prescribed to children, it seems Ambien overdoses are the next step in the slow march toward progress.
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