Looking back: Local hospital has modern laboratory

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Tread of Pioneers Museum/Courtesy

"Do You Know this Photo?" The Tread of Pioneers Museum will offer a free gift to anyone who has information about the identity of this 10th Mountain Division Soldier. Call 879-2214.

— From the Thursday, Feb. 20 edition of The Steamboat Pilot:

"We're on an ever-ready basis, set in our laboratory for any emergency that might come up," maintains Henry A. Roth, new superintendent at Routt County Memorial hospital.

A registered medical technologist, Roth points with pride to the varied and up-to-date equipment in his hospital laboratory. On the tables which run around three sides of the room are centrifuge, an apparatus for distilling water, a blood-typing chamber, a high-powered microscope, a photrometer, an electric oven and scales so delicate they can measure the weight of a pencil line. In addition there are facilities for X-ray and the electrocardiograph.

For the visitor, Roth demonstrates one of the most basic procedures - that of the blood count - providing vital information in the case of infectious processes. A patient's blood sample placed on a microscope slide is stained with Wright's stain - a solution which contains three stains, each having a special affinity for certain kinds of white cells. The infectious process, if there is one, shows up as an abnormal number (too few or too many) of younger white cells.

The amount of sugar in your blood is also another barometer of health or its opposite. Here Roth demonstrates the proper chemical procedure followed to indicate the proportion of sugar in the blood. A normal proportion, Roth points out, is 80-120 milligrams per 100 c.c. of blood. "You find 200-300 in diabetics; below 80, the state of insulin coma."

What blood type are you? This too can be quickly ascertained in the hospital laboratory.

"We have a really fine laboratory," says Roth, "wonderfully equipped. People are welcome to come up and visit any time. We'd be most happy to have them."

Primer on frigid fishing

Fishing! Now? Sure, for whitefish in the Elk and Yampa rivers.

The season on whitefish is year-round in these waters, and the daily bag and possession limit is 10 fish. (We'll have to wait until May 17 for the regular trout season.)

Legal fishing hours are from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. (I'll take mine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on these arctic days.) But catching these silver beauties that dress out those nice hunks of thick, white filets and fried to a crisp hash brown, would whet the appetite of a king.

Bill Penney and I decided to take a whirl at it. We just about started from scratch. We had our fly rods and tackle kits and old-timers at whitefish fishing had told us we should just as well not try for whitefish unless we had just the right bait and the bait this time of year had to be nymphs.

Bill allowed that that sounded like fairies, but further inquiry netted the information they are bugs that live under rocks in the stream bed and they had to be obtained by placing a catcher screen in a riffle below where you stir the rocks with a booted foot, the nymphs become dislodged and float down where they are caught with the screen.

Convict sends note

A prison inmate, perhaps wanting to break the monotony, wrote this message on the paper between license plates he had just stamped out: "Drive carefully or next year you may be in here making these."

When the plates were finally given out here at the office of County Clerk Cecil Rorex, Carl Osborn of Mt. Harris was the surprised recipient of the convict's message.

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