I have to admit that the Lord has really blessed m…

I have to admit that the Lord has really blessed me this summer. The experience that I?m getting at the University of Cincinnati is incredible. I?m not only doing research, but I?m also doing some ridiculous shadowing. Let me tell you guys about my past couple of days.

Saturday I went to the movies to see the Denzel Washington movie, The Manchurian Candidate. It was a really good movie, but I was totally confused by the ending. I woke up early Sunday morning because I had to Nissl stain a whole batch of brain sections to get data for my presentation. I finished around 2 p.m. and decided to go into the hospital to shadow. The trauma team that was on call Saturday night got completely swamped by a bunch of trauma consults and trauma stats, so the trauma team I was shadowing had to see all the patients on the floor and the SICU that other team never got to. They had started their rounds at 6 a.m. and had just finished at about 2 p.m. when I came in. That is some serious rounding. Time really flew by and before I knew it, it was 7 p.m. and that?s when the fun began.

The first real trauma patient we received came in really messed up. Here?s the background story: A car had run a red light in some intersection in Cincinnati. The car that ran the red light ended up hitting a suburban really hard. The suburban spun out towards the street curb. On the street curb stood a man who had actually been in the ER the night before complaining of chest problems. It all happened so fast really. The suburban spun out, and the man on the curb just happened to be leaning on a light pole. Well, the suburban lodged itself into that same light pole, and the man was pinned in between. When the patient arrived in the ER his legs were really really really JACKED UP. The humerus in his right arm was completely snapped, and tibia was sticking out his shin in his left leg (that was his good leg). His right legged looked like a scene out of ?Saving Private Ryan?. I could clearly see his 80% tibia and fibula through the open wound on his shin. He had serious loss of soft tissue in his thigh, and his calf was completely gone. When the orthopods (orthopedic doctors) came down to evaluate his injury, they knew they could save his left leg, but they weren?t sure at all about his right leg. His right leg x-ray looked like someone thrown graffiti in front of the camera, but that was sadly his shattered femur. The doctors at UC are really cool. The chief orthopod resident let me scrub in on the surgery (scrubbing in for a surgery is a crazy experience, its like putting on body armor). One cool thing about orthopedic surgeries are the tools. They have power saws and drills, and all sorts of cool stuff. Also when you are in an orthopedic surgery, you always have to wear a lead apron because they often take x-rays of what they are working on mid surgery. When we got into his right leg we realized that his leg had to be amputated. His tibia and fibula were COMPETELY snapped in half; his patella was cracked in half; the distal condyles ( please correct me if I use the wrong terminology) on his femur were opening like french doors; his plateau surface formed by the tibia and fibula was completely gone; and to top it all off, he had severe diabetes, so the circulation to his legs was already pretty bad. We amputated his right leg, and my job was to clean what was left of his leg, and to make sure all the glass from the suburban was out of the tissue. They put an external fixture on his left leg to set his fractures. We were in and out of there in under 2 hours. It was cool to find out that orthopedic surgeries tend to be shorter than other surgeries. I have the pictures of the guy?s leg before the surgery, and you can view them below:

The next serious trauma that came in was a stab wound to the neck. Jesus must have been looking after this girl because it didn?t get any of her jugular veins or arteries. They kept her over night to evaluate her injury though.

There was a slight calm, and we went up to the floor to pull a chest tube out of that 16 yr. old I had mentioned in my previous post, that had gotten shot and the bullet lodged itself right beside his mediastinum. We put the chest tube in to drain any blood that might have leaked out, and to make sure that he didn’t have a pneumothorax (basically in a pneumothorax there’s too much pressure outside the lung due to fluid or a hole, so the lung collapses). I got a chance to pull that out, and he kid turned out alright. I just pray that he learns from this expeience, because God saved his life for a reason.

The last serious trauma we received came in early this morning. The whole event was something like an ER episode (which is very rare). Apparently this guy had gotten shot somewhere in the streets of Cincinnati (he was a black guy around 26 yrs. old). Whoever his buddies were at the scene, took him and drove off in their car. I guess the cops had just arrived on the scene and they proceeded to chase this car. Well his buddies realized their friend was in bad shape, so they drove to the hospital, with the police still hot on their tails. They pulled into the ER driveway and rolled slow enough to push their wounded friend out the car. They tried to peel out and leave but there were too many cop cars around. It seemed like every cop in Cincinnati was their, and they all had their guns drawn. Some of the nurses who were chilling outside took the guy thrown out the car and threw him on a crash cart, rushing him inside. A nurse was already on top of the guy, pumping his chest while the cart was still rolling inside. When he got into the ER, he had absolutely no vitals. We saw that he was shot once in the leg and once right under his right 6th or 7th rib. They performed a thoracotomy (yes, I have now seen 2 thoracotomies in my life) to evaluate his internal injuries. His right lung was just massacred by the bullet; we saw that the bullet had actually lodged itself in his spine. After sewing up his lung, and bagging him for 17 mins., they called his death. He had lost way too much blood. I got to suture his chest closed before they sent him to the coroner, but after all of this was over I was just thinking. What in the hell is happening to all of our black youth. How could someone bring themselves to take a life. I really wish that they could come into the ER and see this guys open chest and see what death truly looks like. This was someone?s son, grandson, brother, cousin who had just been killed. There will be a whole family in mourning for years because of this murder. Its just senseless killing, and now I can understand why ER docs become so desensitized; they have to in order to not to get depressed about how evil this world is. Yeah, I didn?t have my camera on me, so I couldn?t get any pictures of it.

I ended up sleeping in one of the residents rooms. I went into the lab today and basically chilled. What a life.

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