Happy Monday, friends! My rotation is over and today starts my week-long break (yes!) but I wanted to share a few more ER stories with y’all. Although the hours weren’t my favorite, I enjoyed the rotation a lot more than I thought I would. I loved seeing new and exciting things every day and the overall environment with lots of people always running around. You would never get bored, that’s for sure. Here are a few more highlights!
I had a patient who accidentally shot himself in the finger with a nail gun one week before coming to see us. Somehow he thought it went all the way through but as the week went on, surely enough he felt something in this thumb, which brought him to us. We numbed him up, cut into his thumb, and went feeling around/squeezing trying to get the nail out… and we did! It was a tiny thing but he was happy to take the little souvenir home with him.
If you remember our Campbell PA rap video (please watch it if you haven’t already!), then you may remember my roommate Jeff singing about something called “Saturday night palsy.” This is the colloquial term for radial never palsy because it’s known for happening in people who go out drinking and pass out on the couch. My patient was classic- he fell asleep on the couch, arm slumped over, and when he woke up he couldn’t move his wrist. This happens because when your arm hangs over something for that long, your nerve gets compressed, you feel some numbness, and your wrist just hangs there. No to worry though! We put him in a splint and told him to follow up with orthopedics. He’ll get functioning back, but it will take anywhere from a week to a month.
BEWARE OF DOG
Lacerations always got me excited because I love procedures. I had this one lady come in who tried to grab a toy out of her dogs mouth and what do you think happened? The dog bit her finger and broke it completely- it was hanging on by a tiny piece of skin on the underside of the finger, right below the nail (sorry for the graphic visual). The doctor didn’t let me do the repair because it was so complex (sigh) but at least I got to help. He had to suture her fingertip back on, going through the actual nail.. yikes! The best part was the lady was so calm and positive about the situation. If a dog bit my finger off, I’d definitely be in freak out mode… just saying!
I got to spend one day in the children’s ED and hang out with the kiddos. I feel like I’ve definitely become more comfortable with kids over time, but I still need to get better with the tiny babies (good thing I have pediatrics next!). I got to see a pretty cool procedure that night when a JV football player fell out on his hand and clearly broke something. He had a deformity in his wrist/forearm so we got an x-ray and poof! distal radius fracture. In order to get that back into place, we called the ortho residents for backup. To reduce a fracture you can either numb up the area of the fracture or use conscious sedation, which is usually done in kids. We gave the kid a sedative and within a few seconds he was ready. His eyes were open but he was totally out of it! The ortho guys put the bones back in place, took a few x-rays to check position, and he was good to go!