Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day in Surgery

This morning I went up to the Major Theatre where the surgeries take place. The first surgery that took place was a transverse fracture of the right femur. The patient also had a large abrasion across his thigh. Before the surgery began, the surgeons sutured a piece of cloth on top of the wound, which seemed kind of odd but there reasoning was so it would not be interfered during the surgery. Preparing the patient for surgery, they used a spinal tap to inject a paralyzer medicine so the patient could not feel his bottom half, so yes, the patient was awake the whole time but did not see what was going on because a sheet was hanging up to cover his lower half. As the surgeons began the procedure, they first took a long metal rod with a sharp end and shoved it right through the patient’s kneecap going back and forth. After doing that for several minutes, then a scalpel was used to slice open the lateral side of the patient’s right upper leg.  As the surgeon was opening the leg, you could see each layer down from the muscle to the bone where the fracture had taken place. Furthermore, the surgeons had to cut done some of the bone to allow for a rod to be put in between connecting the femur back together. Once that surgery was done, I headed down to the Minor Theatre to see if any help was needed. Luckily, had the opportunity to assist with debriding some dead skin off the top of the hand that had 2nd degree burn from steam. No doctors were around to supervise or bother to help, so it was up to us students to perform this procedure. One of the students is a 4th year med student from London. Without his knowledge and skills, this gentleman might have been waiting a very long time to have that dead skin removed from his hand.  My job consisted of cleaning the wound with saline periodically as the hand would bleed with the med student from London was cutting away at the dead skin. The patient had about 10 shots of Lidocaine to numb his hand. The procedure went very successfully as the patient did have bleeding while the dead skin was removed. This indicated there was vascularization still going on underneath all of it. Once the procedure was done, we cleaned up the top of his hand and put a clean dressing and was told to return every two days to change his dressing and was prescribed three medications to help with the healing process. The patient was very happy and on his way.

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