Saturday, 18 August 2012
Selamat Hari Raya!!
I should start off this post with the love of my life at this moment :) HAZEL my beautiful brown and white furball :)
Raya long weekend, and I'm oncall.
Not that many cases so far, but all the cases that got referred are so severe. What I'm doing now does not reflect ANY of the knowledge I gained in dental school, to say the least.
Which makes this all, really really scary. Imagine being put in a situation where you have almost close to no knowledge on dealing with maxillofacial trauma, just a surgical set with the minimal instruments, and a few weak thin wires. And a dental nurse ever ready at your side, to hand you over the 'stuff' you need to fix what is obviously 'broken' in front of you.
Fractured teeth? Yes that I know how to deal with. But..
A broken palate? Le Fort 3 fracture emergency management to stop bleeding? Smashed maxilla which presented in a pile of bone + teeth + torn gums + blood clot with an unstable patient? Jagged laceration wound involving the eyelid, extending to the nasal bridge? An almost detached ear with the cartilage all exposed, requiring sutures to stick it back to the head?
The night before was spent tending to the broken palate, with wires and sutures, carefully placing one after another to hopefully stabilise the fracture and close open wounds of the very unstable and restless patient. Yesterday I spent 4 hours picking out pieces of broken bone and fractured teeth from a 21 year old girl who refused to open her mouth, with her blood pressure that kept dropping. All the while in my mind I was reciting a silent prayer, please be ok please be ok. To test my patience further, the patient spits blood to my face mask out of nowhere when she awakes and becomes agitated.
Now I truly understand how a surgeon in a war zone feels like, almost. A small pair of hands, trying to piece the broken pieces together in the most delicate way possible, to avoid any facial deformities when the patient recovers.
I come home to my bed, exhausted.. but all the while in my mind thoughts will be running through. Did I do enough? Did I give the correct medication after the procedure? Most importantly will the patient recover ok?
I only can hope that my best is enough.
Posted by Pei Lian at 22:32