Megan in Houston

Megan, a senior biology major in Dedman College, is participating in the eight-week Michael E. Debakey Summer Surgery Program in Houston, where she will work closely with a faculty mentor to learn more about careers in surgery.

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Hard week in surgery

I have completed another week, and I am finally coming to the realization that my eight weeks are almost done.

This week was busy and pretty hard on the doctors. On Monday, we had one case that was a redo coronary artery bypass surgery. From the start, things were complicated. Seven hours later, surgery was over. However, complications set in, and I arrived early Tuesday morning to find both surgeons in front of the patient’s bed in order to make sure that he was stable.

You see cases such as this one on TV, but to witness it firsthand is completely different. Unfortunately, the patient suffered more complications and passed away the next day. It was not easy to see that room empty on Wednesday morning.

The rest of the week went smoothly. I scrubbed in on another coronary artery bypass surgery as well as an aortic valve replacement. On Thursday, I completed a CPR class and became certified. I learned how to perform CPR on an adult as well as an infant.

This class taught me the exceptions that can occur. For example, if you witness a child collapse you handle it a certain way, but if you come across a child who is unresponsive, then you must handle it a different way. This is done because you don’t know how long the child has been unresponsive and alone. It all makes sense, but of course, in emergency situations, we don’t always think clearly.

We did not have any cases on Friday, but we had two consults, which turned into surgeries for next week. This adds to the cases we already have planned for next week, so I am taking it easy this weekend in order to be ready for a full week.

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