Thursday, December 29, 2011

Medical Cooking Hack

While making Coq a Vin the other day we realized we were out of cheese cloth for the spice bouquet. It was boxing day, nothing was open and also I did not want to go outside. 

A quick google search revealed that sterile gauze is actually a good substitute. I just so happened to have some in my first aid kit, and I soon found that actually it was better than cheese cloth because it was already cut to the right size for making a spice bouquet! Coq a Vin was saved!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why do patients die at Christmas time.

I'm casual. Not surprisingly I work a lot of shifts around holidays when everyone else would like some time off. Unfortunately I am working way too much. I have 8 shifts in 10 days. I am exhausted. Also I have lost my voice.

Anyway. Several of our long term patients passed away. And that's totally depressing. It's like they had just the amount of energy to make it to Christmas time. One in particular had been on our pulmonary unit for months, waiting for a lung transplant. Unfortunately it never came.  Her CO2 just started climbing and there was nothing we could do about it.

On Christmas eve I was called to the hospice, an area which we normally do not service. One of our patients who had recently moved over to the hospice from our wards was having difficulties with oxygenation. I sorted it out as best as I could (which involved moving the patient to a new room, and about 7 more pages that day) and promised to come back the next day to say Merry Christmas! The next day I was merrily wandering in when the nurse stopped me and gave me the bad news.

Luckily on one of our other units everyone pitched in to buy a chronic vent patient who actually lives at the hospital a hockey jersey of his favorite team. It is now his singly worldly possession. So that cheered me immensely.

Thank god.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vomit Comet

Grossest intubation ever. An older fellow who had been mouth breathing for lord knows how long suddenly required intubation during rounds. His airway was nearly completely occluded by thick, crusty, dried out secretions. I was wearing an N95 mask as per policy. Thank god, because I was totally dry heaving. I can put up with most disgusting things. Like the most disgusting suction (some things should not be inside lungs) followed by lunch eating. No problem.

As I was waiting patiently for multiple residents to figure out intubation, and could see the whole thing on the glydescope, tears were streaming down my face as I dry heaved.

I need to work more frequently. I'm losing my touch.