Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Idler Friday, January27, 2017

Anaesthetists and anesthesiologists

AN ANAESTHETIST friend draws my attention to a remarkable operating theatre drama that occurred in Tucson, Arizona, in the US, recorded on the internet site, Gomerblog:Earth's finest medical news.

It was at Mercy Hospital where an orthopaedic surgeon was halfway through a right knee replacement when he was suddenly afflicted by an excruciating itch. He could not abandon the op to scratch the itch so he asked the anesthesiologist to oblige (American spelling – presumably that's the same as an anaesthetist).

At which anaesthetist/anesthesiologist Henry Stutzman reluctantly leaned across and scratched the gowned surgeon's scrotum for him.

But this was not the end of it. Within an hour Stutzman was writhing in agony. He had a complete small bowel obstruction, caused by having swallowed his pride in the operating theatre. Gomerblog tells us the pride Stutzman had to swallow was so large it was unable to pass through his ileocecal valve, resulting in complete obstruction of the small bowel.

A gastroenterologist is quoted: "Most anesthesiologists will swallow their pride in small amounts. Unfortunately, the request to scratch another physician's scrotum, an orthopaedic surgeon's scrotum no less, required Dr Stutzman to swallow such an enormous amount of pride that it compromised his entire gastrointestinal system."

"The incidence of pride-swallowing has sharply risen among anesthesiologists," Gomerblog says. "The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends prophylactically swallowing a small volume of pride daily. If a large quantity of pride must be consumed quickly, anesthesiologists are encouraged to puree the pride, along with a healthy dose of dignity, into a 'shame smoothie'."

Initially, Stutzman appeared to hold down his pride pretty well, it says. "It wasn't until a medical student asked him to 'pinch the nose on his surgical mask' that Stutzman began projectile vomiting self-respect all over the operating theatre."

Extraordinary stuff! Is this for real? Or are these medics just having us on?

Poor planning


NEWS from Australia. A bricklayer was asked to enlarge on an accident report he put in to Workmen's Compensation, putting it down to "poor planning". His response:

"I was working alone on the roof of a new six-storey building. I found I had some bricks left over which weighed about 200kg.  I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor.


"Securing the rope at ground I went up to the roof and loaded the bricks into the barrel.  Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly.  You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 61kg. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.  I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.  In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, which was now proceeding downward.


"This explains the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.


"By this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope. However, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.  Devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed approximately 20kg. I refer you again to my weight.


"I began a rapid descent. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up.  This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several lacerations.


"Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.


"I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel began its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.


"I hope this answers your inquiry."





HEALTH specialist: "I start the day with five minutes' light exercise, five minutes' deep breathing, then a short hot shower and I feel rosy all over."


Voice from back of village hall: "Tell us more about Rosie!"



Last word


Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.

Phyllis Diller



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