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25 July 2010

Under the Pale Moon Light...

So, this month, I am on-call with one of our neurosurgeons.  Since I am going to a place with no neurosurgery back-up, I thought I would take the initiative and find out what I would need to know to be able to manage any patient that came into the E.D. that would need to be stabilized before transporting them several hours away to a University facility.  Plus I get to spend some time in the O.R.and learn other procedures so that is a bonus as well.

Last night I was awoken from my sleep and drove to the hospital in the middle of the night under a full moon for this....

Let me explain... this is a CAT scan of someone's skull.  The shiny thing at the bottom of the screen is what is left of the bullet that struck this person's head.  In the upper left, you can see the hole the bullet made, and the small white pieces that are scattered just to the right of the hole are pieces of bone that entered the brain when the bullet came through.  We spent the first part of the surgery clearing out the clot that had formed.  We spent the next part of the surgery clearing out many of those pieces of bone.  We spent the final part of the surgery getting "the heck out of Dodge" as the patient was bleeding profusely and needed to be stabilized in the Trauma ICU.

When we arrived in the TICU, we put in an ICP monitor at the bedside.  This will measure the pressure inside of the skull (IntraCranial Pressure - ICP).  High pressure is bad because there's a certain pressure above which the brain doesn't get any blood flow.

I'll post photos as I can during the next month... hopefully there will be some happy endings as well to talk about.


Claudia's thoughts said...

Looks like the person should have stayed home last night.

Julie said...

This will sound weird but since I am a nurse I know you will understand, LOL. cool photo.