16 February 2008

17 FEB 2008 Blog Carnival SurgeXperiences Edition 115: Full Metal Scalpel

Welcome to Edition 115 of Surgexperiences!!

This edition is

Full Metal Scalpel: The love-hate relationship between surgery and war.

(Source: Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket, 1987)

What I realized most as I reviewed the excellent submissions this week, is that surgery, both for the patient and the surgeon, is very much like war. There is an urgency to fight against a foe who may kill if left unchecked. Both are activities with high contact and there will be blood. Both are better, far better, when over.

(Pictures featured below are from the National Museum of Health and Medicine Exhibit: Battlefield Medicine 101: From the Civil War to Vietnam Photo Gallery.)

Empyema patient treated with rib removal / open packing, WWI

From the anesthesiologist and oboist who brings us: Notes of an Anesthesioboist: Job posted at Notes of an Anesthesioboist, we hear, "I only have indirect experience of the effects of war, from the fringes...but the effects of war are far-reaching. Hope you're able to use the post. :)" This is a touching view of life after war for one veteran who has given much to us.

Trench foot sufferers, WWII

Next is a thorough and fascinating review of amputation surgery by rlbates: Amputations, Prosthetics, and War posted at Suture for a Living.

Civil war below-the-knee amputation

An engaging post from Sleeping Leo discusses the urgency of hemorrhage, a killer on and off of the battlefield. As dire as the fight for life can be, we who care for the traumatized are luckier to see this struggle for survival than the irreversible calm of death.

Plasma given to wounded GI, Philippines

Everyday Nurse teaches us that giving anesthesia isn't as easy as it may sometimes look and at times has been likened to a soldier's role in the battlefield.

Jeffrey Leow presents GIGO and the CABG posted at Aggravated DocSurg. We learn here that the statement "no war plan survives the first bullet fired" applies well to surgery as well as war.

British Army dressing station WWI

Fortunately, we have evolved so many tricksy ways of surviving the slings and arrows of trauma and a few wonders of anatomy are revealed by Anesthesioboist.


Visit Surgical steel (well, metal anyway) posted at The Sterile Eye, saying, "Some metal bands turn to images of war and destruction for shock effect. Others turn to surgery for help." Read about some very curious surgery related band names.

Filming Herniorrhaphy, Walter Reed Army Hospital, 1918

Street Anatomy has found for us a treat that maybe best reserved for those with the stomach for blood.

life of a surgeon

bongi presents callous posted at other things amanzi, noting that the constant exposure to blood can result in extinction of that stimulus, just as after you tap a cat on the forehead several times, he will stop blinking. War can result in the same immunity to the sight of blood.

Ortho residency remarks that the intensity and closeness of surgery residency, a war of its own, forces us to shed our shells and reveal our inner quirks.

Recovering after action in N. Africa, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

IntraopOrate notes how this intensity and closeness can suggest to the mind the close bonds of family in some humorous ways.

Nurse and Doctor, 131st general Hospital, England, WWII

bongi presents other things amanzi: i r surgeon posted at other things amanzi, which discusses the importance of "hierarchy in theater" which is just as important on the battlefield.

Triage station, France, WWI

Cut on the dotted line reminds us to question the beliefs we are handed, even when they are stated strongly.

surgery in general

bongi presents other things amanzi: stories of guns posted at other things amanzi, saying, "slightly more in the line of your topic. an old post about the warzone we live in." Unfortunately, war zones don't have the monopoly on the threat of firearm violence.

Bongi presents salt water wells up posted at other things amanzi, and reflects on the fact the surgeons may be called upon to share the tragedy and intimacy of bad news shared.

Buckey Surgeon too acknowledges that surgeons may be privy to the intamacy of death, a burden that can occur in or out of a war zone.

Operating on a wounded captive, Korea, 1950

surgical training

Jeffrey Leow presents Acrobot Surgical Robot Makes Students as Good as Surgeons - Medgadget - www.medgadget.com posted at Medgadget.

But, IntraopOrate wisely raises some worries that the invasion of the robots, like many high-tech advances applied to both surgery and war, my strip away some of the human factor. We must remember to apply the same wisdom and compassion even if our high-tech toys have moved our touch further from ground zero.

Evacuating wounded with a JEEP, WWII

That concludes this edition! Submit your blog article to the next edition of
surgexperiences using our
carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Technorati tags:

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I did receive some posts that were tough to categorize. I add them here because I do appreciate the participation.

Rob Moshe presents
Live Your Best Life By Serving Others posted at Rob Schaumer, saying, "This is not necessarily a fitting post for your carnival. Once the project starts, each day I will recognize a fellow blogger that "Helped""

Freddie L. Sirmans, Sr. presents Can The US Prevent A Starvation Crisis? posted at Can The US Prevent A Starvation Crisis.
Raymond presents My Experience With Lasik Eye Surgery - Thoughts About Laser Vision Correction - Is It Worth The Cost and Risks? posted at Money Blue Book.

Sutocu presents Weight Loss Surgery: Preventing the Health Risks posted at 4kg in 7 Days, saying, "If you have been watching your weight go up and you are worried about the rising pounds, you may be wondering whether weight loss surgery really works. Is it possible to prevent future weight gain by putting yourself on a well-known weight loss surgical operation?"