Monday, June 01, 2009

Rotation #2, week two: Emergency

I finished up rotation block #2 last night with my final night in the ER. Over the past week, I saw:
  • a dog who ate four pizzas, a carcass of some sort, and a bunch of rib bones stolen out of the garbage
  • three dogs with pericardial effusion
  • a puppy who ate a sock
  • a dog who ate a several socks and a pair of nylons
  • a dog who choked on grass
  • a dog with fluid around his lungs and in his abdomen (probably secondary to cancer)
  • a puppy with an infected tick bite
  • a dog who bled into his eye after being accidentally hit with a ball during a game of fetch
  • a chihuahua who ate half a bag of Dove chocolates
  • a cat who had a blood clot in his aorta (a.k.a. "saddle thrombus")
  • three cats in a single night who were all having problems breathing secondary to heart disease
  • a cat that was hit by a car
  • a dog who ingested rat poison
  • a dog who ate xylitol-containing gum
  • a dog who couldn't close his eyes due to facial nerve paralysis
  • an anemic cat
  • four dogs with hindlimb weakness or paralysis due to intervertebral disc disease (almost all dachshunds)
I also took what felt like a hundred histories from owners, performed a lot of physical exams, placed two IV catheters, and performed my first thoracocentesis (chest tap). The rotation was feast or famine, either crazy busy or totally dead. I learned a ton, but faced a lot more sadness and death than I was prepared for. I'm not sure if emergency medicine is for me... but it is a wonderful resource to have available in our community.

I'm on to Lab Medicine now, which is two solid weeks of practicing looking at blood smears, interpreting bloodwork and fluid analysis, and looking at samples of various tissues (i.e. bone marrow biopsies, fine needle aspirates, impression smears, etc). So, back in the classroom. Time goes a lot slower outside of the hospital, but it's nice to have a little break from patients.


Mara said...

Your list of presenting problems makes me grin with glee. But clin path is pretty sweet too. I'm blogging at now - couldn't stay away for more than a day. I'm hoping to go to AVMA, so maybe I'll run into you at the VIN table.

Megan Watland said...

I'm so happy you're back to blogging- I'd hoped you wouldn't be able to live without it!

Meeting at AVMA would be great! I'm full of questions about internships...