Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Wound Care 101
There seems to be a sudden rash of discussions involving necrophelia in the Balto blogosphere started by this guy at Happy Hour last week. This morning was no exception.

Since I've started the new job, I've been attending the 7:00 AM teaching rounds with the surgeons where they review all the surgical cases from the previous week, and plan out the approaches for the next week's surgeries. I spent more than 13 years managing cardiology, and can tell you exactly what a bi-phasic defibrillator with endocardial leads and caps costs, and what's it's used for, but now that I've gone from plumbing to hardware, so to speak, I'm on a learning curve for all the orthopedic protheses, plates and hardware and their uses, so I'm attending teaching rounds to learn.

Despite all the advances in orthopedic surgery with lasers, arthroscopes, and other less invasive techniques, it is still highly, highly, highly invasive stuff when it comes to replacing joints. This means large wounds with even larger scars.

The star case of the this morning's presentation involved an elderly woman and a hip replacement. Pretty routine stuff. Until it came to healing her wound. It wouldn't. They tried everything, and still it wouldn't heal. So.... (pay attention ACW). They brought in the maggots. Yes, maggots. They cost about $100 for a package of them from a place out in CA. When they arrive, they look like tiny pieces of rice. Toss them on the wound, cover with a most cloth drenched in some protective ointment, and 48 hours later, they have eaten all the necrotic tissue and while the wound site is much smaller, the maggots are now the size of pencil erasers. The slides of this miracle treatment, posted in living color on the wall of the conference room, did nothing for the coffee and bagel I was trying to eat while taking notes.

There was brief moment of levity when the surgeon reported that he neglected to remove the maggots from another patient in time, which resulted in an outbreak of flies on the nursing unit and Environmental Services scrambled to vacuum them out of the rooms and contain them.

Ahh, the wonders of modern medicine.

Enjoy your morning coffee.
posted by Broadsheet @ 8:27 AM  
6 Editorial Opinions:
  • At August 03, 2005, Anonymous seadragon said…

    I *was* drinking my morning coffee when I read this post, damn you!

    Still, it's kind of interesting. :)

  • At August 03, 2005, Blogger jwer said…

    No doubt this guy will have something to say on the topic...

  • At August 03, 2005, Blogger Neckbone said…

    Yes, I do have something to say: does anyone know how to get vomit out of a keyboard?


  • At August 03, 2005, Blogger deanne said…

    Well thank god I didn't read this this morning! I have heard that before, in addition to leeches?

  • At August 03, 2005, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    Yes, and what's even more disturbing, is that when they finish eating all the dead tissue, they turn on each other and start to feed.

  • At August 04, 2005, Blogger jwer said…

    Leeches have anticoagulants in their saliva. Me, I'd rather just have the anticoagulants, sans leech.

    Remind me never to go to a hospital again.

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