Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Somebody Fell Asleep During Anatomy Class

This is my encounter with a recovery room nurse after a procedure.

"Hi Nurse Betty (not real name obviously).  This is a 47 year old female who we just performed an ERCP for choledocholithiasis."
Nurse Betty asks the patient, "Do you have a lot of pain?" as she starts to lift the hospital gown.
"No, this was all done endoscopically.  Everything was performed through the mouth."
"So did you give propofol for sedation?" she inquires.
"The patient is obese so I intubated her and gave her a general anesthesia."
Nurse Betty looks at me quizzically.  "How did you do the procedure through the mouth if she was intubated?  Did you go through the rectum?"  She starts lifting up the patient's bottom.
Me with a look of horror and amusement. "Uh, no. The endotracheal tube went down the trachea.  The endoscope was passed through the esophagus."
"Ohhh. I was wondering how you did the procedure if there was already a tube down the patient's mouth."

That was my contribution for the benefit of mankind for the day.

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