Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Almost one year.

I just noticed that this blog is almost one year old... I think i've changed a lot since this whole thing started. We'll have to have some sort of party.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Found out today that there's a Center for Vulvar Diseases here at my institution. Forgive me if you suffer from a vulvar disorder, but I didn't realize there was such a prevalence of disorders that there needed to be specific center for it. If you don't know what a vulva is... you shouldn't be reading this (or look it up)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas Party

Work Christmas party last night. Funny no one is even remotely recognizable in party clothes. You have to visualize them in scrubs before you can associate a name with a face. Weird. I didn't drink too much which is good.

Where does one conscience go under anesthesia?

I was recently asked by a reader (weird to say that... thanks for reading)"Where does one's conscience go when you put someone under?" It's not a question easily answered. One that scholars and theologians probably as well have tried to answer for millenia.

First of all not to nitpick but you probably mean consciousness, meaning sense of one's personal or collective identity, rather than conscience, meaning source of moral or ethical judgement. I only clarify this not to be a jerk, but to make sure we are on the same page.

I don't know if there's really a right answer to this question... First. Is this is the same quesion as "Where does one's consciousness go when I sleep?" Probably in my opinion. Anesthesia is induced sleep (more or less... i can give you a more techically specific definition but that will just be cumbersome in this metaphysical question)

Most would say one's consciousness is just supressed while you sleep or are under anesthesia... it's there but it's unable to express itself or take in new information.

More religious people would say it's there watching over you. A "soul" if you will.

Which is right? I don't know. Is there another alternative? I think the best thing would be to leave it comments and see what people have to say.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Level 1Trauma

This weekend I was on cardiac call... I had to be available for any cardiac cases going on over the weekend. This can be a hit or miss call, sometimes you're in the hospital all weekend, sometimes you're at home all weekend. It had been pretty quiet til then... early out(ish) on Friday, nothing on Saturday. Then my pager went off Sunday morning at 4am. nothing good about that. Apparently some sort of penetrating trauma case that required my attention. Well usually level 1 traumas refer to emergent cases, often going straight up the OR once they arrive at the hospital. I was confused. You don't want to wait for me to drive in (newly and still falling snow) to take care of an emergency, the in-house people will take care of it.... No no... they were stable enough to be transferred from another hospital, then stable enough to go to the CT scanner, now stable enough to wait for the cardiac team to come it. Still it's an emergency. "Ok i'm on the way in"

Now I'm always kinda pissed off when I get called in... half the time I get called in for cardiac it's nothing critical (i know that sounds weird) Someone freaking out for no reason. I know it's my job to be available when they call me in, so I don't think i should be angry.... I still am. I figured if that bullet were anywhere important they'd be dead by now. I'm also mad for other people too. I think "Heaven forbid if anyone gets hurt driving in the snow coming into the hospital for this non-emergent 'emergency' "

I slip and slide my way in. I see the cardiac surgeon in the pump room. I say "hi, what's going on?" He says "I don't know... they told me she was dying and to come in, now we're waiting... i don't know what doing..." Great now the cardiac surgeon and I both don't know what's happening. Oh well easy enough to blame the Trauma service.

The patient finally shows up. Very stable. We put some invasive monitors and access into the patient. I don't see much blood in the pericardium (sac around the heart) on echo. There is some though... not much. Surgeon says it probably looked like pericardial fat because it was well-organzied clot. They take a closer look at the heart... this lady's lucky. The bullet went through the pericardium nicked the right side of the heart and kept going. A half-centimeter another direction and that nick would have gone through one of the coronary arteries and the patient would have bled to death or part of the heart would have completely stopped working. Lucky.

I feel bad now that I was angry driving in.