Sunday, January 01, 2006

Horses and Mug Shots

The man hit the horse at 60 mph and his face was instantly split in two (the man, not the horse - the horse lost his face completely, along with his head). He was brought into the ER where he immediately met our trauma team. We were standing at the ready taking bets on whether or not he would be able to maintain his own airway. Leah and I lost 20 bucks that night.

The team surrounded him, the sound of the wall suction filling the room. Controlled chaos reigned. Dr Q leaned down to ask the gentlemen about his health history and was immediately assaulted with projectile bloody vomit. A slight pause occurred as we all turned our heads in unison to follow the bloody trail from the doctor's chest, over his head, and up onto the wall.
We were all impressed when it hit the ceiling in the corner of the room behind Dr Q. It was truly an amazing accomplishment. A few of us started to bring our hands together to clap when we remembered where we were and reached for a syringe instead.

His intubation proved to be a tricky maneuver. One that induced multiple cuss words from staff and a few thrown instruments. But noone was hit, which is a good thing when a bloody ET tube comes your way. You just do a quick tango to the side and worry about cleaning it up later.

Once the patient was stablized, I got on the phone to the trauma center to arrange a transfer for OMFS services. The rest of the team were debating the laws of geometry and physics while discussing the angles and distance of projectile for the bloody vomit. Dr. Q was in the corner dictating and Leah was on the phone with Air Life. Housekeeping kept trying to come in and clean up the vomit because their shift was ending in 10 minutes.

Once Air Life landed and whisked our patient away, we called housekeeping to tell them they could come in now - only to find out they had clocked off shift. So Leah and I spent the next 40 minutes cleaning up bloody vomit and thrown instruments.

A week later, Leah ran into the patient's girlfriend at the sherriff's office (Leah swears she was there to pay a parking ticket, but who pays a parking ticket at the sheriff's office and why does it take 4 hours?). After the initial "don't I know you from somewhere?" and "thank you so much for helping him that night", Leah got down to the bottom of why the girlfriend was there;

"Well, the surgeon needed a picture for his facial reconstruction surgery and his mug shot from last month is the most recent one"

Yes - she actually took the mug shot to the surgeon. We still hear about that when we call with a trauma transfer. "Are you gonna send their mug shot too?"

1 comment:

Melissa said...

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