Wednesday, October 27, 2010
In burn surgery, it is important to hydrate.  With something other than coffee.  While not ALL burn surgeries take place in sweltering operating rooms, some do.  Especially for patients with big burns, regulating their body temperature is near impossible (no skin = no barrier to heat escaping...).  So since they can't keep the heat in, we have to make the room their body temperature... or warmer.  Usually warmer.

I mentioned that last week, we got a big burn patient.  He's a gentleman who caught his shirt on fire while welding, and has full thickness burns to basically everything except his face from the waste up.  On Monday, we did the first of two surgeries to remove all the burn eschar (all the dead burned tissue).  Tomorrow, we will do the second half.  Because of the extent of his burns, he definitely falls into the category of poor body temperature regulators.  So, when we went to the OR with him Monday, the room was HOT.

And by hot, I mean they have to super-heat the room (above what the normal heat system can do), tape the doors shut so that no one opens them and lets the heat out, and bring in a fridge with water for us (breaking all OR no eating/drinking rules), because passing out in the OR is not cool.  When I asked, somewhere in the middle of the 8 hour surgery, what the room temp was, I believe we were in the 102-104 degree range. 

At some point, everyone took a break (as it should be!).  When I took my break, I went to change scrubs because mine were SOAKED, and before I even left the locker room I changed again because they were already sweaty again!  Maybe it'll be the latest in fad diets... I swear I lost like 13 lbs during that case!

We have another case just like it tomorrow morning...  so tonight I am drinking lots of water :) 

Maybe we'll be able to hang out in the less than 100 degree range tomorrow....


About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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