By Hannah Kang, OREXer ’11-12
Today Dr. Harken gave a lecture about how standards dictate the quality of care that is given. He questioned the interns regarding whether hospitals should lower their standards in order to treat more patients, or maintain their high standard, but consequently only treat a smaller number of patients. This lecture was thought provoking, and reminded me of the complexity in overcoming health disparities that are present, today.
After the lecture I observed a left tibia sqeuestrectomy operation conducted by Dr. Krosin, in Room #2. I learned that the patient was suffering from an gram + bacterial infection in his tibia. Due to the condition of the infection, Dr. Krosin told me that they had to remove the part of his tibia in hopes to help overcome the patient’s infection. During the procedure, the assisting surgeon’s glove ripped, so there was an immediate call for hepatitis and HIV tests to be delivered. Dr. Krosin encouraged the assisting surgeon to sit out for the remainder of the surgery.
Additionally I was able to observe a surgery conducted on a college student. This appeared to be a mystery case, as the college student had no idea how he got injured—his skull was dented, and his dens was broken. As a result, the surgeon drilled a circular region out of the patients skull, hammered the dented region to be more rotund, and then screwed it back onto the patient’s skull. Next, the surgeon conducted a few x-rays to get shots of the broken dens on the patient’s spinal cord. Once this was completed, they inserted screws to connect the dens back onto the second cervical vertebra.
Today’s experience reminded me of the things I had learned in Microbiology, and Anatomy. I was amazed to see how drastically a bone can wear down due to a gram + bacterial infection, and I was fascinated to see how drills can replace such a fragile, and crucial, piece of the spinal cord. I’m truly thankful for Dr. Krosin and the nursing staff that allowed me to gain such a memorable experience in the OR, today.