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02 May 2009

Sew Far, Sew Good

Ok, so I finished my last "day" shift on the Ortho service, and I spent the last part of my day sewing up 2 patients...

One was an inmate who decided to end his life by taking a whole mix of pills he had stored up, and then, for good measure, cutting his wrists with a razor blade. Well, not so much his wrists but the majority of his forearms.

I put in about 50 stitches including a repair of his muscle fascia and some deeper layers of tissue but not a repair of his palmarus muscle tendon which was what the o
riginal consult was for. About 16% of the population don't even have a palmarus muscle. Do you have one? To check, hold your arm out and clench your fist. Now bring your fist toward you like you are flexing your muscles... if you see a long band pop up around the middle of your arm like in the picture below, you have one. If not, no big deal, you've been living without one and don't miss it. Just like this patient won't miss not having his attached any more.

The second patient was involved in a fight with another person wielding a knife. He had several cuts to his right hand including a deep cut at the webspace of his thumb for which we were consulted. Luckily, there were no nerve or muscle defects, and I was able to sew the laceration closed, plus put in a few stitches on his finger lacerations.

And, so ends the first month of my Orthopedics rotation. On Monday, I transform into a month-long vampire mode as I am on the Ortho Nights service. Fourteen hours of fun in the middle of the beginning of trauma season! Should be interesting!

As for this weekend, I will spend it still sewing... but of a more calming and artistic nature.... Quilting...

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