Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

14Jul/082

You hate to see that happen…

A 40-something female presented to the ED a few days after having her gallbladder taken out for infected stones. Keep in mind, this is a teaching hospital in July, so the surgeons are pretty new at this. Hopefully there's an attending helping them out, but you never can be too sure.

Of course this woman gets admitted to the hospital, because now she's got a post-operative fever, high white blood cell count, tender abdomen, etc. etc. etc. Naturally they get a CT to see what's going on...

The surgeons had accidentally cut through the gallbladder, releasing all of her infected stones into her abdomen†. And then for some reason, they just left them in there. Maybe it added to the feng shui of the abdominal walls, I don't know††. I imagine it went a little something like this:

Intern: Making the first incision now... I'm grabbing the gallbladder.. annndd.... oops.
Attending (turning around): Was that an oops I just heard?
Intern: Uhh, it was nothing, sir. I just jiggled the camera a bit.
Attending: Very well, carry on.

†BTW, when I'm a resident I'll start carrying a USB drive with me so I can start posting images to go along with the stories... I've been trying to figure out how to keep this blog going if I end up doing rads.

††Zing! Puns just never get old.

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  1. lol, I only wish interns, or residents at all, got to operate with that much abandon. As to the stones, once they get out of the gallbladder, they immediately head for the depths of the pelvis, where’s it impossible, pointless, and dangerous to look for them. Are you sure this was the only cause of the problem? What about an abscess not completely cleaned out, or a bile duct injury? Not to mention that, strictly speaking, it’s not the stones, but the stagnant bile, which gets infected, and that ought to be cleaned out by simple irrigation.


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