Catch and Cut – episode 1

February 12, 2010


This is the first episode in a mini series about my OB elective.

I arrived at Labor and Delivery by 3:30. First I watched a birth (Happy Birthday Nicolette), then held the mom’s hand and chatted with her while her episiotomy [surgical incision of vaginal wall] was sewn up. Next I did a sonogram, tried drawing blood for the first time, did a vaginal exam of a woman who had just started labor — felt the baby’s head — and filled out paper work. By 6:15 pm it was time for the O.R.


Surgery. Ovarian Torsion.

Scrubbing in and not touching anything is as nerve racking as driving on the edge of a cliff at night in the fog.

My job was to hold open the lower part of the incision while the doctors worked. I was doing well for the first part; until, at 7:30, a stream of blood spurted out of the woman’s abdomen. Oops, hit an artery. This is no big deal if you’re a surgeon. If you’re a medical student in her first surgery, this means SDOON.

SDOON -Sudden Dizziness Out Of Nowhere. Who actually faints at the sight of blood? I didn’t believe the room was starting to spin until I finally felt like a figure skater at the end of her Olympic routine. A nurse helped me to a chair before I hit the floor.

Maybe next week I will it make through a full operation.  To be continued.


2 Responses to “Catch and Cut – episode 1”

  1. Mike Says:

    I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

  2. Mitch Says:

    this recounting was sliiiightly different to my midfery in uganda. just a bit. no pounding on the stomach shouting “sindika!” to force the baby out of a 15 year old using rusty forceps? fascinating.

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