You’re not recording sound, are you?

February 12, 2008 § 6 Comments

Listening in with a boom mic

There is one question I always get when I’m filming an operation. No matter if the surgical team knows me or not, someone always asks me, with a concerned look on their face, if I’m recording the sound (photo credit).
« Read the rest of this entry »

Makes a grown man writhe

January 31, 2008 § 6 Comments

On most occasions I know exactly what to expect when I’m heading out to film some procedure or other. Operations are routine work and I know how patients tend to react to different biopsies, infusions etc. But one recent assignment really caught me off guard.

PDT - red light treatment

There is a treatment option for skin cancer which sounds easy and gentle. Most cancers can only be treated with major surgery, radiation or massive chemotherapy schedules. But for skin cancer patients, a treatment involving light has emerged the last 15 years.
« Read the rest of this entry »

A false alarm

January 19, 2008 § 3 Comments

“Have you ever fainted,” is a question I often get. Fortunately I have not. There were a couple of close calls during my first year in this job, but my body has adapted and I’ve learnt some tricks along the way. Falling unconscious over the patient with camera and all, that would really be a nightmare.

Some time ago I witnessed a senior resident having her worst nightmare come true. Almost.

Midfacial degloving

I was filming a midfacial degloving. This is an approach used to get access to the nasal cavity. « Read the rest of this entry »

Awake awakening

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.

Awake craniotomy

I was scheduled to make a video of a craniotomy. The patient had a neoplasm in the brain, believed to be causing his epilepsy. « Read the rest of this entry »

Bright spot puncture

December 13, 2007 § 3 Comments

Lumbar punctureAbout 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 »

Compulsory organ donation

December 1, 2007 § 19 Comments

Most people would accept the offer of a diseased person’s organs if it could save their life. If your heart stops working you would probably want a new one.

But still, a lot of people are not willing to donate their organs after they’ve died. Even more people are not willing to donate some of their blood or bone marrow while still alive. Although they probably won’t say no to a blood transfusion, if that can save their life. « Read the rest of this entry »

Pharmaceutical ice cream

November 23, 2007 § 3 Comments

A pharmaceutical sales man at workI’m at a medical convention. Like most medical conventions it’s sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. A large hall is filled with stands from the different companies. Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, AstraZeneca, they’re all here. I’m not very often at conventions like this, and every time I’m puzzled by the pharmaceutical sales people. This is indeed a strange but varied way to make a living.

Judging by the sales people I’ve seen so far, these are some of tasks you’ll have to manage if you want to be a successful drug dealer: « Read the rest of this entry »

Patient patients

November 17, 2007 § 2 Comments

Stem cell transplantationIn my current job almost all the videos we make are of actual patients undergoing cancer surgery and procedures used in diagnosing cancer . Before we can go ahead with a recording, the patient has to sign a paper stating her consent.

When I was initially briefed about the job, I thought this would be the project’s Achilles’ heel. Why would someone who’s about to get a cancerous tumor removed from their body agree to having a camera team present? Would any woman who’s getting her breasts scanned want the extra stress of being filmed? I imagined a lot of time would be spent searching for a patient who would say “yes”. « Read the rest of this entry »

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Reflections category at The Sterile Eye.