Today I was in a cardiac theatre where they were replacing a regurgitant aortic valve and doing a bypass graft using the saphenous vein from the leg. It was scheduled to be a 4-5 hour operation. The patient came down to theatre about 8.35am, and was in by about 9am, fully hooked up to all the monitoring machines, this operation was unusual, in that because the surgeon was going to be operating on the heart, they would need to stop the patient's heart and use a heart-lung machine to bypass the lungs.
The operation seemed to go ok - I saw a bit but not all, but the surgeon was very snappy and quite aggressive towards the other staff.
Today (well the morning) was spent in ICU - intensive care. It was a kind of whistle-stop tour, where I also met some of the other emd students, who have done a full elective in the ICU. They were showing me what the equipoment does and also how the monitoring is done. I liked the visit to ICU and might consider an SSM at ICU this coming year. one of the other students also gave me some contact details for doing neonatal ICU, which might be a nice alternative.
It was one of the consultant's birthdays, so we had cake and stuff. All in all ICU is much calmer and fun than I had thought it would be, and involves a lot of the kind of detective work of managing patients to dow ith monitoring and correcting their blood results etc. They also seem to have good team working between the SHOs and consultants.