Monday, February 2, 2009

Anatomy 101

I do not expect the general public to understand all of the terms we use in the hospital. I know that intubation, SIMV, AC, PEEP, pressure support, levophed, Diprivan, CABG, thrombocytopenia, leukocytosis are not words that everyone will be familiar with. However, there are a few words I think anyone should understand. If you don't know them, please do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with general male and female anatomy before you visit a hospital the next time in order to avoid looking like a complete idiot. Yesterday I was caring for a man who developed melanoma in his eye which has now metastasized to his liver. He just received high dose chemo with IL-2 and is so incredibly sick. A side effect of that chemo is excessive swelling. The man was lying in his bed and has a foley (catheter) and a flexi-seal (a stool catheter or fecal management system) which collects stool (poop) in a bag when a person is having extreme diarrhea. The man's daughter was there and was questioning why if those things were in place and were working properly why there was a little wet spot on his sheet in that area. I explained that the man had extreme swelling of his scrotum which has swelled to the size of a cantaloupe and is now leaking a little fluid. She says, "What is a scrotum? Do you mean his balls?" AYKM? Ladies and gentlemen, please learn your basic anatomy.

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