A whirlwind few days of trying to find my feet in a busy and dynamic department. A 5:30am wake up was not welcomed however, necessary to show I was keen. For the first day at least. The meeting was about cases who died or were about to die. So fairly morbid in nature. After the meeting I still had no idea where to go and I was dressed like a gimp as I forgot to pack any shirts so I was dressed like I had just come off a golf course. My questions were eventually answered by going to visit grumpy Kate who turns out to be not that grumpy. I was asked to draw up my own timetable so I threw myself in the deep end and put myself on from 4pm-11pm that evening. I made my 400m bus journey home and refuelled and rested for the potential mayhem that is Johannesburg Trauma Unit.
So I arrived at the department doors which looks like a prison. Iron bars greet you at reception and after a brief period of degradation you are let in by the nurse. As i arrived a trolley came travelling towards me at full speed. I recognised the doc so we exchanged hellos as she was bagging this patient and taking him to theatre. Turns out the gentleman was a mugger who stole a mobile and then running away jumped over a railway bridge; landing on the tracks, then not sure how, a train ran over his lower legs. As you can imagine they were not a pretty sight. His right leg was held on by his Achilles' tendon.
The thing about the unit is that there is no prior warning about an incoming patient so they literally just rock up in whatever state they are in. This means that you can be chilling out one minute then the next minute 3 casualties come in after being hit by a minivan. Thankfully they weren't too bad and I had to suture one girl where she had three lacerations to the ball of her foot. She was the biggest moaner in the world. She started crying. I had another student consoling her as I was injecting her with local anaesthetic. She was kicking about the place and I really didn't have any patience for this girl. Got the doctor in who managed to inject her a bit more. What I learnt here is to not care about the noise of the patient and just go for it. She sounded like she was giving birth. Well, after 13 stitches later I had successfully treated my first patient.
Another chap was already in the unit after being shop in the head earlier that day. He was not in a good way but luckily still alive.
Then a cardiac arrest occurred so me and this other med student were doing the chest compressions for 30mins but sadly the chap died.
A very combative gentleman came in after being assaulted. So after a nice dose of ketamine he was away with the fairies. He was intubated and warmed up then awaited CT for what turned out to be a subdural haemorrhage.
Then at midnight a 17 year old boy came in with two stab wounds to his chest. He had a chest drain put in by another student and had his wounds sutured and he was stabilised. Turns out he had quite nasty chest injuries and had another drain inserted.
So I clocked off at 1:30am after an action packed shift. Absolutely shattered today as I went in for 9 for a teaching session. There was no point in me being there as I was just a body.
Decided to work Thursday and Friday night so hopefully some more chaos will ensue.