Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dr. Orthochick: Polytrauma

My co-resident Don picked up the worst polytrauma patient anyone in this town has ever seen yesterday. He broke at least 3 bones in all 4 extremities and Don picked a cigarette butt out of his knee. He also had 3 dislocated joints. He ruptured his spleen and bowel, broke all his ribs, and had pulmonary and cardiac contusions. We were supposed to do some light surgery on him yesterday but he was too unstable so it was rescheduled for today.

Don: I don't think you're going to operate on this guy today

Me: Why not?

Don: According to [the computer system], his most recent pulse is 0, respiratory rate is 0, and blood pressure is 0/0.

Me: Yeah, I'm not sure putting a rod in his tibia is going to help that much.

(yes, he died. And I realize no one should die without metal in their body, but we decided no surgery was indicated acutely, although I feel like we could have all had a field day fixing this one. Requiescat in pace.)


  1. Is anyone else flashing back to the Ortho vs Anesthesia video that went viral a few years ago?

    There is a fracture. I have to fix it.

  2. Let me guess. Motorcycle accident?

  3. "The patient has other management priorities right now. Like CPR."
    "Ah, yes, they have finished doing that now."
    "There will be minimal blood loss."