A Sadder Stabbed Heart

When I got a call one morning at 06h00 to notify me of a stabbed heart in Trauma, I was not filled with trepidation like the last time I received such a call. I thought, “I’ve done this before. I know what to do.” But I did also get the call while I was busy crushingContinue reading “A Sadder Stabbed Heart”

Recovery, Divided or Together

The burns’ ward in our hospital is kind of special. It is the only ward that hosts men, women and children together. It is the only ward where everyone has exactly the same problem. It is one of our cleanest wards, and has a high staff-to-patient ratio. But it’s not a pleasant place. The smellsContinue reading “Recovery, Divided or Together”

Geeking Out About Lungs

I stood transfixed, with my finger deep in the girl’s chest. She was breathing easier now. With every breath, I felt soft, spongy lung tissue expand against my finger. How incredible is that, I thought. Perfect lungs doing their job. Almost ruined by the knife of a callous boyfriend. I had been slow on theContinue reading “Geeking Out About Lungs”

Auf Wiedersehen, Orthopaedics

How hard were these past two months? Together with one other intern, I looked after a firm of up to eighty patients. We did ward rounds with our senior colleagues only once a week. The rest of the time it was up to us to manage our patients and keep them alive (and know when to call for help).

Stories from the Paeds Slate

Anaesthesiology is hard, guys. And paediatric anaesthesia even more so. But I really like my days on the Paeds Slate because the theater is out-of-this-world amazing. Everything is in stock (well, mostly) and the nurses are out-of-this-world competent and everything is just nice. We gassed for a simple inguinal hernia repair and did a caudalContinue reading “Stories from the Paeds Slate”

Burns Patients

They come in all shapes and sizes. Little and bigger. Some are freshly burnt, the raw and sloughing flesh tender; for others it is just one more in a long line of surgeries to restore structure and function. The scarred flesh tells stories of multiple skin grafts. IV access is a nightmare. Some of themContinue reading “Burns Patients”

“The Spinal is Working”

A woman lies on the operating table. The medical officer and the intern are draping the patient while the scrub nurse readies her instrument tables. An awkward smell surrounds us out of nowhere. The nurse says, “The spinal is working,” to indicate that the patient “did it”. Poor patient hardly has the opportunity to defendContinue reading ““The Spinal is Working””

Valentine’s Day in Hospital, One Year Ago

One year ago: I was just a medical student and I hated Vascular Surgery. I hated that I had to work on Valentine’s Day. But I hadn’t considered how horrible it must be for my patients to be in hospital on this day.