Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Stupid Me: Story #4513

I was doing the trauma list yesterday and the orthopaedic surgeons had put a young man on the list who needed to have fixation screws removed from his foot under general anaesthesia.

“It’ll be really quick,” Andy, the ortho reg, assured me, “the operation will only take five minutes.”

Already, I’ve developed a healthy disregard for what surgeons say about the length of their operations. I think surgeons exist in their own special time bubble where a surgeon’s minute is the same as ten minutes in the real world.

As sure as eggs are eggs, half an hour after he started operating, Andy has sat down, made himself comfortable and is still poking around in this bloke’s foot trying to find the final screw.

“I’ve found it!” he finally exclaims.

“Wahey, well done!” I say and move round to have a look over his shoulder. “Let’s see,” I say.

“Look,” Andy replies leaning to one side so I can get a better view. “The (screw) head was much more proximal than I thought.”

I can’t quite see, so I lean further over his shoulder and…

A flash of light hits me at exactly the same time a bolt of pain from my forehead.


I’d managed to clunk my head against the theatre lights. The theatre team – kind souls that they are - burst into laughter.

Did I feel like a tit? Damn right I did and, what’s more, I now have a lovely black eye to remember the event by.


the little medic said...

I definitley agree about the surgeons having their own time

Devil's Advocate said...

Rather than keep the patient under for ages while he probed, couldn't he have taken a pre-operative x-ray, or have I just suggested the medical equivalent of "red wine with fish"?

Michael Anderson said...

DA - You're a very wise person. Actually, there was a pre-op X-ray but, despite this, Andy was still having a lot of trouble. In the end they called the radiographers into theatre and located it under X-ray guidance

SSS said...

Orthopaedic surgeons are joint first place with plastic surgeons for the 'Guess the length of the operation' game.

Verity said...

Yup, I've done this too, bloody painful!

Θεμις Μαντζαβινος said...


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