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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Running Man

Anaesthetists are like the Bomb Squad. We are bloody good at defusing difficult and dangerous situations and we are generally calm and collected when things are going wrong. We differ from the Bomb Squad in one important respect. If you see a member of the bomb unit running, they are running away from trouble. If an anaesthetist is running, they are running towards the problem....

The other day, I was making a rare :) trip to the tearoom when I was literally bowled over by a colleague running in the direction from which I had come. No time for questions, I turned and followed him at high speed to the Urology theatre. He had received the dreaded phone call, the one that goes something along the lines of “Resus in theatre...”

Turns out the Urologists (bless their little frustrated plumbing souls) were removing a renal cell carcinoma from an unfortunate gentleman. The tumour had, as they are prone to do, invaded the inferior vena cava. In a startling flash of insight, they had asked the vascular surgeons to help out. So Dr Vascular surgeon clamps the IVC, proceeds to open it, and then all hell breaks loose because the clamp slips off. Suddenly, 3 litres of blood appear in the suction bottle, our previously stable patient now has no blood pressure and things are going horribly wrong.

Our intrepid urologist peers over the blood-brain barrier and says, “we have a little bit of bleeding here..” No kidding Sherlock....Fortunately they soon get control and we spend 15minutes filling the patient up with blood and blood products.

So now, I offer some thoughts on the running anaesthetist...
  1. If you see an anaesthetist running, GET OUT OF THE BLOODY WAY! - this is my pet peeve - Sometimes we have to run to labour ward theatre, which is a LONG way from our department and I am always amazed as to how 2 people wafting down the corridor can manage to block an entire passage. It could be your relative I am running to...
  2. The older I get, the less use I am when I arrive at the scene of the disaster. I tend to be in so much oxygen debt that I have to spend 30 seconds gasping before I can offer any constructive help to the resident. One of my mentors insists that you may as well walk and not be out of breath. I think he is just old.
  3. Why do bad things never happen in the theatre you are right next to? Always with the marathon runs....
  4. A little information prevents a lot of chest pain. Often, there is no need to run.           Unfortunately, I often have to run to figure that out. Sigh.
  5. Did I mention...... GET OUT OF MY WAY?
              

8 comments:

tracytodd said...

OMG I hope they get out of your bloody way especially if I am lying in a theater waiting for you. *laugh*

Bongi said...

i don't run. i move as fast as i can without them needing to resus me first when i arrive on the scene.

also if i were to design a hospital i would make two entire sets of corridors, one for the patients and the visitors and an entirely separate one for the doctors. i hate it intensely when visitors block the corridor.

Doc-ZZZ said...

@Bongi it is often the nurses, not the visitors...
I like the maths - width of corridor = 2.5m. Width of 2 nurses = 1m. Effective width when walking aimlessly down passage = 2.35m

If I were to design a hospital, I'd have ICU,labour ward, trauma unit and theatre all in one block on the same floor.... But that is a story for another post...

VIVA TIVA said...

YES!!! And no bloody elevators in between!!!! Especially ones too narrow to hold both the bed and the doctor!!!

Anonymous said...

I stopped running, but then took up weights and skiing. Now I run, and get there feeling relaxed!

healthy living said...

They are the best people. They run but they administer to their patients in the calmest possible ways.

Hugo said...

Maybe the surgeon must book a cell saver next time, especially if the IVC is involved.

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

I like the pic!!! I served in the SADF (old name) as a Sapper, and know all about bombs, booby traps, defusing and / or setting them. I also know and understand the need to run at times, but in my case - away!
having had a bad car accident in Jan, and my mom in hospital as a result for nearly 3 months, I know what you are talking about with regards getting out of the way, and running for nothing. But that's how life is - things get in the way, less information makes for more haste (and waste), and your writing is great! Thanx
Salagatle!

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