TV medicine (Jump-starting a heart!):
If you’ve ever watch a medical drama you must remember a scene when a patient’s heart is failing and doctors rush to save him/her with an electrical shock that gets the heart beating again, but just how accurate is that?
The technique is a real medical procedure and the machine used to do it is called a defibrillator, which works by delivering a controlled high-energy shock to the heart of a patient undergoing a cardiac arrest. However, a common misconception portrayed in many medical dramas is that defibrillation can restart a heart after it completely stopped beating…
The truth is during a cardiac arrest the heart doesn’t stop beating but beats in an irregular manner which prevents it from pumping oxygenated blood to the body and brain and ultimately leads to death, The external shock will interrupt the heart’s chaotic rhythm and hopefully force it to reset to normal rhythm.
Fascinating Surgeries (Part Two):
Ex Vivo surgeries are a type of surgery that involves the removal of as many as 6 abdominal organs from the body, so that cancerous tumors can be excised. The organs are then re-implanted into the body.
The technique is extremely complex with many dangerous risks involved, but when 7 years old Heather McNamara was diagnosed with cancer, it was her only chance of treatment.
Due to her cancer’s proximity to several major organs, many doctors diagnosed her tumor as unresectable, until her parents met doctor Tomoaki Kato, a pioneer in multiple organ transplantation.
In a 23 hours long operation, Dr Katio tied off an incredible number of blood vessels, removed six major organs from the girl’s abdomen and placed them in an icy solution where three groups of surgeons worked carefully on resecting the tumors before re-implanting the organs.
Despite her pancreas being too damaged by the cancer to function properly (meaning she would be diabetic) the surgery was a success, and Heather is now about 18 years old.
Fascinating Surgeries (Part 3):
In 1960, a team of explorers in the Antarctic was getting ready to face the harsh polar winter, among them was 27 year old surgeon “Leonid Ivanovich” ready to deal with any medical emergencies they might face, but when he himself felt a sharp pain in his abdomen he was filled with dread.
A trip back home was not possible due to the harsh weather conditions but Leonid knew his symptoms meant he had appendicitis, and if his appendix burst, it would mean his death!
On April 30th his symptoms were too severe and Leonid feared he was running out of time, with no other surgeon or doctor among the team Leonid’s only choice was to operate on himself.
The young surgeon assigned roles to his teammates to help him through the operation, one to hand him his tools, one to hold a lamp over his abdomen, another to hold a mirror to help him see and another to stand in reserve in case any of the other assistants became nauseous and had to leave.
With the help of a local anesthetic, his make shift team of medical assistants, and shear power of will Leonid performed the operation successfully, although he used the mirror occasionally he operated mostly on feel, and within two weeks he was able to return to his normal duties.