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Category Archive for 'hospital'

  On call this past weekend, I was paged to the post-partum floor to evaluate a young woman who had vaginally delivered a healthy baby boy 16 hours ago. Her chief complaint? Intractable back pain. [Background: She had delivered 2 babies aided by an epidural block in the past, and complained of back pain during this […]

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  Yesterday, like most days, my patients came in all different shapes, sizes, and situations. Patient #1 was petite and frail, in her early 60’s, and only 5′ tall. She had the body habitus that we who work in the OR always love to see. Light as a feather, and easily lifted and re-positioned. Which we needed […]

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  The Operating Room is a whole other universe, and all the usual rules that apply in the outside world tend to fall away in here. That is not to say that the OR is a bad place; quite the opposite, it is a very orderly and territorial environment. It lost its circadian rhythms just […]

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The power of our drugs never ceases to amaze me. Take muscle relaxants, for instance. By delivering as little as a teaspoon of a drug like rocuronium or vecuronium, we anesthesia providers can literally paralyze YOU for your surgery. This comes in pretty handy when your surgeon does not want you to move during your operation! […]

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  Can anyone listen to that haunting refrain from Eleanor Rigby and not feel its sad message? “Where do they all come from?” Many of them come from our local nursing homes, and land in our ERs and ORs. Elderly people with little to no family, or concerned family, to advocate for them. People with chronic […]

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  A stunning fall morning. Cool, crisp, and comfortable; the skies so, so clear. The weatherman predicts the high around 70 degrees. The air is so still – it’s hardly moving at all. It’s one of those days that makes you feel glad to be alive. You pat the dog, and kiss your spouse goodbye – what shall […]

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  Imagine going to work everyday and the only thing you can see on your co-workers’ faces is their eyes. Such is the parallel universe that is the Operating Room. We all wear masks in the OR. It is for our protection, and yours. Surgery can be messy; “things” can splatter. And our germs are nasty; all […]

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  What really goes on in the Operating Room while you are asleep? I get asked this question by friends and family all of the time. “Are they talking about me?” “Laughing at me?” “Commenting about my thighs?” None of the above, really. Conversations in the OR can range from sports to politics to gossip, […]

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Amazing grace

  The pre-op holding area is a busy place. Patients scheduled for surgery begin filing in on their stretchers at the crack of dawn. Each patient gets parked at a separate bay; the room fills quickly, empty slots being filled faster than a train station parking lot during rush hour. Hustle and bustle, checking names and ID […]

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Giving anesthesia is an interesting calling. It requires careful, dilligent planning and analysis to be able to sit back for a few hours in your chair at the head of the bed and appear to be doing nothing. Anesthesia providers are the brunt of many jokes   – about how we read the newpaper, do crosswords, or basically […]

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