Today was just a surgery day; I went straight up to the major theatre with 5 other students and waited patiently to see what surgeries were on tap for today. After hanging out in the lounge fighting back morning yawns and sleepiness. The first surgery of the day was a fractured femur reconstruction. This wasn’t even just a fracture… it was shattered! It took the doctors nearly an hour to prep the man who had supposedly been in a motorcycle accident. They didn’t even put him under anesthesia, they just used a below the waist epidural. They put up a little screen so the patient couldn’t see, but I can’t even imagine what his experience was like. It was a terrible gruesome and aggressive surgery, at one point the surgeons were putting their entire body weight into placing the bones where they needed to go with a metal stabilizing rod. He could hear everything from the surgeons chatter, the beeping machines, the crack and snap of his bones, the dropping of the utensils, the lights actually went off twice, the noise of the drill and he could feel the pressure of the surgeons moving and pressing his leg into place. I’ve never seen anything like what they did, they were scraping muscles off the bones (sending blood and body matter everywhere in the room), grabbing the bone out of the leg and trimming the sharp ends off, and boring a think metal rod through the center of the femur starting through the knee. The way they treated his muscle made me wonder if the muscles with ever be the same, they looked like minced meat! The sounds I heard during that surgery made my stomach turn, and how it looked like a straight up horror film was hard to handle in the heat of the room. Overall it was a very interesting surgery, and orthopedics is still one of my favorite departments of surgery. I’m just really curious to see a surgery like that done in the US.
The drill they used in the surgery
That surgery took up the entire morning and I didn’t get to see much else, we did stop into a surgery in a different theatre where they were trying to clear an obstructed airway of a little boy. He had a breathing tube through his trachea and they had to change it before they began the surgery and the little boy was fighting for air wreathing in pain while they were stringing the tube through the hole in his neck. Every thing I see makes me wonder what the surgeries would be like with the proper equipment. The sterile tools are wrapped in rags on the trays, and in the little boys surgery there were flies hovering around the room!
We went downstairs to see what everyone else was doing because it was getting close to the time when the van was going to pick us up. They were trying to find Lidocaine for a main who needed his burn cleaned. Only a picture can describe what this mans burn was like. The nurses said there was no lidocaine left in the hospital… so a couple people in our group went searching across the hospital for a bottle, which thankfully they found in maternity. left so I didn’t get to see the debridment but it was pretty grody!
the burn… see, only a picture could describe it… ouch!!!