Trauma Floor

Patient was young, dyspneic, stabbed in the left chest.

Chest tube got out a lot of air, and some blood.  The big smudge next to the bed is where I stood for the tube, and the central line.

Patient lived.  My shoes are in the washer.


  1. Your patient did much better than mine. I was covering trauma last night.

    Single stab wound to left anterior chest about 3 cm medial and superior to nipple. +JVD. Unstable etc. Long and short is there’s a reason for the high mortality associated with ED thoracotomy. By the time I was done. I’d closed the large hole in the anterior left ventricle and the smaller one in the posterior left ventricle. But by that time blood looked like Kool-Aid and stopped clotting. Lots of epi, electricity, blood and IVF just wasn’t enough.

    Most of the folks in the ED told me that was the most blood they’d seen lost.

  2. GD,
    Monday, I start my first courses of medical school. This past week I have been going through the insanity of uprooting my professional career as a chemist and part-time soldier and going through orientation at medical school. The weeds are thick, and the goal is easy to lose sight of. Thank you for parting the weeds for a moment. I needed this.

    Semper Fi,
    -SSG J

  3. Anonymous says:

    isn’t this why you always wear shoe covers?

  4. rubber clogs. Then you can just give them a good wiping with the housekeepers virex after.

  5. I was wearing both a hefty bag waterproof gown and shoe covers, but the shoe covers really only protect about 90% of the shoe, so just like the rest of me the tongue sometimes hangs out. Oh, and my socks, too.

    I have some Crocks, but, no. Good for me for washing cars and the like, but that’s about it.

  6. TheNewGuy says:

    He was minding his own business, no doubt. Probably another victim of the infamous “two dudes.”

  7. Minding his own business and reading the Bible, no doubt.

    So do you walk around with bloody shoes the rest of the shift?

  8. Sometimes no matter how well you cover up, blood still finds a way under the scrubs. After one particularly bad night on trauma call I was griping to a colleague about my bloody socks and underwear. He said one word, “Costco”. I went out that day and bought two dozen socks and underwear. They are so inexpensive I now consider them disposable and I always bring several pairs with me on call just in case. I also agree with the above comment on clogs. Wash the clogs, put the scrubs in the hospital laundry, throw the socks and underwear in the contaminated waste and put on a fresh change of clothes.

  9. Wonder what JCAHO would say about the mess and the trauma code…since – ya know – ERs are all nice, neat, slow-moving outpatient clinics with really patient patients and where real emergencies NEVER happen …..

  10. Trenchy says:

    Nice shot there Devil Dawg… another thing about shoe covers, if you forget you have them on and run out of the trauma room to the STEMI that just rolled in… you can easily bust your ass. (or so I hear)