Media Scrum

(This is actually @ the End of the day…)

An interesting day in the OR here. Every once in a while a high profile case that is deemed “media-worthy” falls into your lap.

In this case it’s a charity pediatric ASD repair for a young girl from south of our southern borders.

I’m a bystander so to speak- as I only do adult cases, but one of my colleagues is an excellent pediatric perfusionist (as well as adult) and since I was doing some other rather mundane clinical work (platelet gel sequestrations) on orthopedic cases x a bunch, I decided to hang around and capture some of the noise and become part of the picture.

Not to say I am a media hog, but it’s always interesting to see the hive warm up as the buzz of journalists, local, and possibly national, media settles into our environment.

So I asked the film guy to take a picture of me – trying to look like the film guy…

(I don’t think anyone was fooled … I make a better Gekko than a Chameleon)

Our crew of skilled PICU nurses… 🙂

There are two noteworthy pediatric heart surgeons in attendance, two pediatric perfusionists, one adult perfusionist, three scrubs, one circulating nurse, one ‘ologist, three local reporters, two film camera men, two digital photographers, one hospital media public relations rep, and our more than capable and hospitable ECMO coordinator (that would be MarTaay…).

And oh yeah- the welcoming committee in the PICU consisting of two Nurses, one RT, an Intensivist, and a couple of other residents and what not.

That’s a lot of CO2 for one O.R..

These people make up the tip of the spear .

They kinda look like Alien Pod People ….

I noted to my colleague, that in terms of the perfusionists in the room, that together the three of us represented more than 60 + years of perfusion experience, and more than that in terms of surgical experience.

It is always a heady rush to see so many people come together for the benefit of one common goal albeit different paradigms and professional agendas. That to me is what this is all about.

A picture of people taking pictures to turn videos into pictures…

12 thoughts on “Media Scrum

  1. We often see patients from south of South. Adults, as that is who we operate on. Since there is a large population here with relatives “Down Mexico Way” (regards to Kennedy & Carr), one expects an occasional visiting ‘uncle’ or ‘grand dad” to get sick and need OHS.

    We never have cameras or TV coverage, we just do the surgery. We have noticed, however, an odd pattern. It seems many of these visits come a few days to a week after the imported relative first felt a “heavyness” in the chest, or became short of breath, one supposes while walking to the post office to mail a letter to far off loved ones in my neighborhood.

    Our general feeling of warmth and fuzziness brought about by this chance to do a good turn to a sick person with help unavailable back home offsets any thoughts that might try to impinge on our open handedness: dirty words do try to creep in, such as ‘freeloader’.

    But we quench that negativism with torrents of choruses of “It ain’t our money (is it?).

    Now, in McAllen, Texas, I’m told…but that’s for another time.

      1. Pardon—I was remiss in my first post. I meant to start with “Dude, good story, good idea”.

        OTOH: Now I have looked over a few replies and I want to offer another view; It happens I (italic, underlined) DO judge the worthiness of lives. I don’t get all emotional about it; the judgment certainly doesn’t affect my work, and has nothing to do with race, religion, national origin, political positions, ethnic persuasion, etc. I also admit it has little to do with my primary role as perfusionist, i.e., operations during open heart procedures. It is the trauma, man, that torques me up, bunches my drawers, incites my tendency toward holding people responsible. This is paradoxical and personal, I again admit, because I look at the Sandusky affair, for example, with a very jaundiced eye. Now, I have no connection to Penn State and could hardly care less about college football. All it is is a free farm system for the NFL and a way for people to waste time, idolizing players they don’t know and probably won’t ever meet. I do support the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ idea see U.S. Constitution), and as far as I can tell no one has to yet be indited, much less tried, not to mentioned be found guilty. So it is vigilantism— mob violence—-that got Paterno and the President of the college fired and others in trouble. All because of the testimony of an ‘eyewitness’ (google “Invisible Gorilla” for how reliable they are) who, assuming his allegations are accurate and true, DID NOTHING TO STOP the assault, which makes him the grossest player in the field, worse than Sandusky, who at least probably (if guilty) is one sick dude.
        Which, Dude, brings me back to my own failings. I don’t have any judge, jury or convictions in my back pocket when I hit the OR at 3 a.m. or any other time to do a cell saver for a gunshot wound, or a stabbing, or abdominal exploration to find what was wrecked in the motorcycle accident—and while we work down below the neuro guy works up top, because fatso not only could not handle his bike, he could not bother putting on a helmet. I go on hearsay provided by police via trauma docs.
        And while I have great sympathy for the suicidal people on this earth, I don’t much care for the inept ones who botch the attempt, again usually at 3 a.m. As I have pointed out often, I took exception to the bragging of some residents many years ago after they saved the life of a guy who threw himself under the Broad Street subway. Yeah, they saved his life, but removed his arms and his legs. NOW he really has something to be depressed about, and can’t DO anything. No second chance for him. Who are we to judge suicides? It is their life and if they want to toss it, who are we to say “No?’
        Over the years I have given a lot of time and money to help abate gang violence, counsel the suicidal, get helmet laws passed and make riding education available. But I don’t have much in the way of sympathy for the Knife and Gun Club members (at least they could use frangible bullets, or hollow points, which would get the job done right and have a much smaller chance of taking out kids in the street) or obese people with heart disease who sneak cigarettes in the hospital bathroom, etc. The trouble we bring to our own door step belongs to us. I am not shedding tears, wasting warm emotions and I wish I wasn’t paying money to ‘save’ them from themselves. Even if the jury is still out. (BTW, our insane “War on Drugs” lends a profit motive (….Pursuit of life, liberty and happiness…..) to the violence, and pays for stuff that wounds our soldiers, whose medical bills we clearly have responsibility for, recent Congressional suggestions notwithstanding.)
        I trained at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, where care used to be free, and where kids from around the world were routinely brought for surgery. Those congenital victims deserve all the help they can get, and those who contribute are real heroes. The ones who earn their misery did just that.

  2. I have no problem if every poor, uninsured U.S CITIZEN got the same surgery and care. I have a problem that we spend all the money on folks that may grow up to hate us at worst and freeload at best. Just sayin’

  3. Dude!

    Thanks for the multifaceted response.

    I’m not sure what all it was- that you just said- but it sounded pretty cool and full of conviction 🙂

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