Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Busy morning

It's a busy morning for me... I've got two cases to start... one of them is a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) in a really sick patient with bad heart failure.

She's in the intensive care unit and will be a transport to the OR. I'm there a few minutes early (as I try to do, but don't always succeed) I meet my resident in the ICU and he tells me the case is on hold.

"Why?" I ask.

Apparently there are two LVADs scheduled for that day, which is pretty rare. They do have two sets of surgical instruments, but there's a particular wrench which they use to tighten certain components of the device. They only have one of those wrenches. They don't want to start the case unless they make sure they have everything they need for the surgery. Of course the OTHER room has already started.

I'm more than a little annoyed... both cases have the potential for lasting most of the day... so a delayed start is less than optimal. Both cases had been scheduled since the day before, so you think that it would have occurred to someone to deal with the problem before it was an issue.

The charge nurse was in the process of contacting the representative from the device manufacturer to see if he could bring the extra wrench.

A few minutes later, they said we could go ahead. The two surgeons agreed that whomever was to the stage that needed the wrench first would get to use it first. Then they would quickly clean and resterilize it so the other could use it.

Not the best solution, but workable I guess.

In the meantime, the representative from the company was able to get there in time with extra tools so that there was actually no issue. Still much unnecessary stress for me though.