December 29, 2007 § 7 Comments
I have no surgical training. I started nursing school once, but quit after finishing my anatomy and physiology exams. But as I spend large portions of my work week in ORs, I’m sometimes called upon to assist the nurses when things get a bit too hectic.
A few weeks back they did.
December 24, 2007 § 4 Comments
December 17, 2007 § 7 Comments
This autumn I had the privilege of documenting several operations for head and neck cancer. Some of the most fascinating operations involved the use of an autograft to replace the resected cancerous structures.
One of these operations was performed on a patient with cancer of the gingiva (gums). The tumor had infiltrated the mandibular bone and the surgeons had decided to remove the tumor and a part of the mandible.
December 13, 2007 § 3 Comments
About a year ago I was scheduled to make a video of a lumbar puncture on a child with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The purpose of the video was to demonstrate the procedure and show the specifics of puncturing children. I was going to shoot an actual puncture, so we had to get the parents’ consent to me being present with my camera.
The problem was, lumbar puncture is a diagnostic procedure, so we’d have to ask the parents of a child with recently discovered disease. Fortunately I didn’t have to ask myself, and the nurse who did it did not feel comfortable asking parents who’s life has been turned upside down if we could film their child. Naturally most of the parents we asked declined.
But then we found this 5-year-old boy. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 11, 2007 § 19 Comments
A camera solution often suggested to me by surgeons is the headlight camera. Headlights are used by surgeons when the OR’s surgical lights don’t supply enough working light. This is often the case when operating in narrow spaces, e.g. the pelvis minor and the oral cavity.
Mounting a camera on the headlight might sound like a good idea, and some of the headlight manufacturers even supply it as a part of their product line. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 10, 2007 § 1 Comment
According to ScienceDaily surgical objects are left inside about 1500 patients in the US every year, leading to pain, infections and other serious complications.
This issue is something I’ve often thought about when I’m in an OR. It’s always fascinating to watch the surgical nurses maintaining the count of instruments, sponges and other stuff. Making sure everything is outside the patient before the wound is closed.
The ScienceDaily article states that about two-thirds of the objects accidentally left inside people are surgical sponges. They’re used, amongst other things, to absorb blood and are hard to distinguish from tissue when they’re all red with blood.