Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend Theme in the ER ................
This weekends' theme?
Cervical fractures. Or, in layman's terms, a broken neck.

Ouch. Really, that's all you can say. It's not that uncommon to have some Poor Bastard come through the ER with a broken neck. But getting one a day on both days of a weekend is pretty strange. It's not like I work in some big Level 1 Trauma Center.

Both of these unfortunates were involved in motor vehicle crashes. One was buckled up and one wasn't. One was young and one was old. Both were Female. Only one was at fault. One Saturday and one today.

Both are probably wearing a HALO tonight.

What's a HALO you ask? Check this picture out.

That's a HALO. It's a fixation device that stabilizes the head and neck when you break shit that should remain in one piece. You know, like your Cervical Spine. See those pieces of hardware sticking out of the top ring? Yep, those are bolts that get drilled into your skull. They do make sure that your shit stays in place. Damn, that can't be any fun.
Those of you who own high end Milwaukee Brand Tools? Yep, they use real similar type tools when they install this shit. About the only difference between the tools you and I have in the garage and what Orthopedic Surgeons use is that Hospital Tools are usually cased in Stainless Steel and have a plastic cover. Makes the whole "Sterile Thing" a lot easier. I will say that there really is something to be said for "Sterile".

Generally speaking, "Clean" is OK when it comes to minor procedures. But there are times where "Clean" just isn't good enough. If you're drilling holes into MY head, the difference between "Clean and Sterile" would take on a whole different level of importance. Hey, that's just me. Your Mileage May Vary.

I don't want to scare you, but you'd be surprised how hard it is to really be "Sterile". Yes, even in an operating room, Sterile is hard (maybe impossible) to achieve, But let's face it, some things are just better Sterile.

Believe me, if you had to deal with the Zombies I do every day in the ER, this would be easy to understand and a Hell of a lot funnier. NO serously, jokes that have Zombies and Sterile in the same sentance are funny. You may not be getting the humor, but believe me ER Nurses get it.

Damn, I have to wonder how people survived some of the shit they did in the old days.

Yeah, I know. Generally speaking, they didn't.

Oh Hell, The whole Broken Neck Thing is a subject that's Near and Dear to me. Read about how I broke my shit way back when if you're interested.

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