Archives for January 23, 2004

Dr. Gupta’s Marine Save

On the main CNN page today in the “video” section (which requires a paid newspass), Dr. Gupta interviews a Marine and his parents. The Marine sets the stage, relating being struck in the head with a bullet.

Amazingly, there is footage of Dr. Gupta performing a field craniotomy (cutting open the skull) to remove clot from the brain, saving the man’s life. It would have been easier for him to walk away, and I’m very impressed he did what he did. (It does raise questions about who is allowed / authorized to preform medical procedures on our troops. I don’t think there should be a hard and fast rule, but the commanders and docs should exercise their judgement. Nobody expects there to be a neurosurgeon roaming the battlefield with a camera, but it was fortunate in this case).

The Marine didn’t escape without injury. Film of him in rehab shows he has some balance problems, which hopefully he can overcome.

Thank you, Dr. Gupta.

The CNN video link, if you’re interested.

A perfect death
The BMJ has a letter to the editor about the death of the authors’ friend. It is a moving story, without maudlin sentimentality.

It is also a tale of courage in the modern age of medicine, where too many people die in ICUs of terminal illness, surrounded by well educated and well meaning strangers, instead of in their comfortable surroundings with their loved ones.

Death is the ultimate loss of contol. Hospice, along with a strong will, allowed the death with dignity most people want, but few get.

via Black Triangle