My first day in the operating room was a little of what I expected and a lot of what I hadn't. When they handed me a helmet, I thought perhaps I was about to be the brunt of a prank. It was legit and even had a nifty battery pack to boot. When we scrubbed in they attached the bio-hazard-like helmet cover to keep us sterile. It was quite comfortable inside with a little fan to keep the air flowing in the hood almost like a personalized air conditioning device. Apparently, with the amount of fluid and debris flying during orthopedic procedures, this is a rather important device. Thankfully I didn't sneeze on my little window, but the runny nose was on full display for everyone else as there was no way to get a tissue inside the hood.
I did expect to see hammering and the use of a chisel, after all this is orthopedics. I did not expect to see the jackhammer that was used to prepare for the femoral implant, however. It was akin to something out of a horror movie. The team and I held open the hip while the doctor got to work. As could be expected for any medical student, I held the retractors long enough that my hands ached with pain and lost sensation from the lack of blood. Fortunately, there was enough movement and hands available throughout the procedure to avoid too much damage. Being the new medical student on board meant I wasn't expected to know much. If it wasn't for the scrub nurse, I am rather certain I would have had no idea what instruments to use during the procedure. In the end, it was a great learning experience and now I kind of want one of those helmet and hood devices to brave the Las Vegas heat.
Question of the Week
A 70 year old women has recently been operated on for a total right hip arthroplasty. All of the following are appropriate prophylaxis for deep-vein thrombosis EXCEPT
B. pneumatic compression boots
C. subcutaneous low molecular weight heparin
D. intravenous heparin
Answer & Explanation