Thursday, July 23, 2009

Medical Shows

I do enjoy watching the medical shows on TV. They occasionally bring up diseases, pathogens, and other medical issues that we talk about in class. Personally, I like House and now Royal Pains on USA. There's something enjoyable about watching these unusual doctors treat their patients that always seem to figure out the case. However, the more I learn, the more problems I see in these shows.

I was just watching Royal Pains and Hank, the doctor, just performed a non-emergency surgery paying no attention to aseptic technique. He pulled out some latex gloves from a box and used those for surgery. It wouldn't be that hard for him to carry around some packs of sterile gloves and throw on a mask occasionally. I'll assume that the instruments were sterile. I get that it's TV, but that's my soapbox for the day and I still enjoy watching these shows.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Busy Month

My research project is winding down. Now it's on to writing the paper and trying to get it published. I don't know how hard that will be since our results weren't too significant.

A couple weeks ago I got to scrub in on my first surgery. It was an awesome experience! The hardest part was gowning and gloving, but it was good practice. It was a skin graft to cover a wound. During the surgery, all I really did was cut suture, but it was still fun to be right there and see everything. I was also doing anesthesia for some other surgeries. None of my dogs behaved according to the normals. One dog had low blood pressure throughout the surgery and another was breathing too fast. I still don't know what the ideal dog is supposed to be like under anesthesia. I've also been gaining a lot of experience bandaging wounds. I'm really excited about all of this because it gives me a chance to learn some of these things before I get to clinics.

The last few weeks were quite busy, but things are starting to slow down as projects come to a close. Sadly, this also means that the summer is ending and school will be starting up. I can't believe it's been about 2.5 months since finals. I had said I was going to review material from last semester and look at stuff for next semester but now of that has happened. I guess that's how it goes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brain Freeze

I went for a run the other day when it was actually hot in Michigan. I got back to my apartment and grabbed a gatorade from the fridge. I started drinking and immediately got a brain freeze, but I was so thirsty I kept drinking. I'm finding that doing research puts me in a different mindset - the detective mindset. I started wondering what causes a brain freeze. My hypothesis I came up with was that it was from a countercurrent heat exchange between the cold gatorade going down my esophagus and the internal or common carotid artery. The thought was that the blood going to the brain cooled down as it passed the cold water in the esophagus and made the brain feel cold even from a slight temperature change. It sounds good.

However, the next day I was talking to one of the doctors about it and ended up googling it. The real reason is that nerves in the roof of the mouth sense the coldness and go to the brain. Yes, people have done research on this stuff. Apparently, a brain freeze can be avoided by pressing the tongue to the hard palate and heating it back up.