Many people probably saw this already, it was printed in The New York Times on April 9th, but just in case you missed it, I thought I should give it a little bump:
Doctors Remove Ammunition From Soldier’s Head
The reason I'm posting this is not because it's one of those "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" medical stories (even though it is), but it's because if anything redeems the much maligned field of anesthesiology from the jaws of modern day television, in which we are all portrayed as lazy, unfeeling, drunken, drug-diverting billionaires who don't give a shit about our patients and leave whenever the going gets rough, it should be a story like this.
An excerpt for those who don't want to click:
...[A]s the patient, an Afghan soldier in his 20s, was prepared for surgery, the chief radiologist, Lt. Col. Anthony Terreri, took a closer look at the CAT scan. Stunned, he realized the object was an explosive round, primed to go off.
“It looks like we have a problem here,” he announced.
To say the least.
Maj. John Bini, a trauma surgeon and a veteran of homemade-bomb injuries from two previous deployments in Iraq, immediately evacuated the operating room. Only the anesthesiologist, Maj. Jeffrey Rengel, who put on body armor, was left to watch the patient.
The surrounding hallways were secured, and a bomb disposal team was urgently summoned. All electrical monitoring devices in the operating room were turned off for fear of detonating the round. To keep track of the patient’s vital signs, doctors turned to manual blood pressure cuffs and a battery-operated heart monitor, and they began counting drips per minute to estimate the amount of the intravenous anesthesia they were giving the patient. “It was taking anesthesia back about 30 years,” Dr. Rengel said.
Within a half-hour, the bomb disposal team arrived and confirmed, based on the CAT scan, that the patient indeed had unexploded ordnance in his head.
“They said, the way these things are set up, this type of round has an impact detonator on the front of the charge,” Dr. Bini said. “They just said, ‘Don’t drop it.’ ”
With that for reassurance Dr. Bini put on body armor as well, and he began the process of surgically removing the round from the patient’s head, joined in the operating room only by Dr. Rengel and a member of the bomb team...
...Dr. Bini said he was unaware an unexploded bomb embedded in a patient’s chest had been the plot of a TV show — a two-part episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2006... “None of that stuff you see on TV approximates reality,” Dr. Bini said.
Nice work, Dr. Rengel, we're all proud of you.
And also, you must shit ice cubes.