Thursday, September 29, 2011

Expecting the Unexpected

seeking shelter from the rain
Today was slated to be a very busy day in the OR. We originally had 8 cases scheduled - several of which were very long cases. When we finished our morning meeting and rounds, only two of our seven scheduled patients had arrived for surgery and we had one in-house that we donated our blood for yesterday and needed to pick up his typed & cross-matched blood today prior to doing surgery. Two of the cases went simultaneously. By the time those two were done, one other scheduled patient had shown up for surgery. This was a woman with an ankle fracture that didn't heal properly and had ended up with a very painful ankle due to arthritis and a non-union. She was fixed today with an ankle fusion. By this time, it was just before 4:00 pm so we stopped for a dinner break before doing the in-house 8-month-old femur fracture case whose blood had been picked up that morning by one of the long term volunteers while he was running errands. After eating our very late lunch, we went to look for our patient's blood and could not find it! Turns out, the volunteer who went to pick up the blood did not check that the blood he was given was the blood that was typed & crossed for our patient. MSF (Doctors without Borders) was also picking up a unit of blood this morning and our volunteer was handed the blood for their patient. By the time this mistake was realized, the Red Cross was already closed and there was no way we could get the correct blood for our patient tonight. So our in theory long day turned out to be quite short as 4 of our patients did not show up for surgery and one did not get the correct blood. Unfortunately, one of our cases that was added on for tomorrow (a traumatic femoral neck and distal radius fracture from one month ago) could not go today because he also needs blood for his surgery (his family should most likely have it by tomorrow).

Instead of staying up late doing cases, we stayed in and relaxed. There was a huge thunderstorm happening (still going on actually) so we didn't leave and Paige, Ruth, and myself watched the move Thank You for Smoking and ate kettle corn popcorn. It was a nice end to the evening and good to relax especially since we already had two big cases on for tomorrow and had to push the one from today onto tomorrow. 

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