I was reading the “Introduction to New Town Hospital ICU” booklet in the coffee room when the consultant comes in and says “There’s a new admission from theatres, come and have a look.”
The lady in question had been on the operating table for the majority of the day after having emergency surgery because her bowel was blocked. It turns out that the blockage was probably caused by cancer and she’d had most of her internal organs taken out. Shane, one of the Australian registrars, is admitting this lady to intensive care and he turns to me and says:
“Have you done central lines before?”
Me: “A few, but my last one was a couple of months ago”
“Do you want to do this one?”
Then the monitor behind us starts beeping as our patient’s heart rate climbs above 130 b.p.m.
Shane: “Could we run that unit of blood through stat and call blood bank and tell them to give us two more please. Michael, I think I’d better so this one because we need this line in a hurry.”
I stood back and watched him work and he was amazing. I’ve never seen anyone put in a central line so fast. He went:
Local. Introducer needle in. Guide-wire in. Scalpel. Introducer needle out. Dilator in. Dilator out. Line in. Guide-wire out. Flush the lumens. Stitch the line. Tegaderm. Done.
And it took him about four and a half minutes altogether and he didn’t spill a drop of blood onto the pillow.
I was in awe. One day, I’ll be that good too.