With so many patients leaving from prior days, rounds became much quicker. With our first stop in the ICU to check on the previous day's patients who stayed the night (Justine left the same day), we visited Night, Deus, Gertrude, Monica, Mary, and Nataria. All of them were doing well, but per the usual complaint, told us of a significant amount of pain, to which each was given painkillers and muscle relaxants. The other patients remaining were scattered throughout the hospital; some in the ER, some in the surgical ward, and others in the private ward. We start with Wilber, telling him he'll be getting another x-ray to check the reduction, and to prep him for the afternoon when we get to him. Other patients, such as Gilda and Perepeta (from Monday) were discharged, and Julius (previous Tuesday) was transferred to the TB ward to receive more treatment and to be discharged. With the other remaining patients checked on, we returned to the OR to aid in the surgeries.
While the fusion and decompression cases went by relatively simply, they still took time to complete, and the tumor removal and total knee took a significant more amount of time than we were all anticipating. We wanted to be careful and thorough in our work, and these cases were pushing us to be extra careful. Time seemed to inch past as the cases were worked on and slowly completed. The tumor was positioned in a strange way, and we had to remove all (or as much as we could); the knee is simply a procedure that takes time. Then, the ACDF (the cervical fusion) took a time due to us attempting to place certain sized screws in place. Dr. Huang took the lumbar fusion, the decompression, and ACDF, while Dr. St. Clair completed the excision and biopsy of the tumor, and the total right knee replacement.
The cases ran into the late evening, and I'm talking late evening... 10:00 pm late, with a 7:30 am start time. Everyone was doing something while surgery was in progress. As Dr. Huang was finishing the ACDF, we had Wilber wheeled in for a quick adjustment to his halo and the placement of the halo vest. With the x-ray he got that day, we could see significant reduction, but we wanted more, or we'd fuse him. After many x-rays, moving him around, and placing a rolled towel under him, we got the desired x-ray, celebrated a successful reduction, and sent him back to the emergency room where he was originally.
11:00 pm rolled around, and Dr. St. Clair was still doing the knee replacement. Those of us not involved in that surgery had prepped our stuff to leave the following morning, and were waiting so we could all go eat as a team (He had the smart idea of calling ahead a reservation and our orders!). So, we came to the decision to split up; some of us would go ahead to the restaurant, and the others would go when the case was completed.
Dinner had the same bittersweet feelings I've come to know; It was nice to know that we made such an impact on so many people, but sad to know that it was time to leave all those I've come to know here during the two weeks I spent. We all talked about things we've learned during our time, and our hopes for the future. Thanks were given, from everyone for accepting us, and teaching them. We took our time eating, and once we were either finishing or passing out at 1:00 am, we split into two groups once again; While three of us returned to the hotel to pass out, the others, such as Dr. Huang, Dr. St. Clair, Stanley, and others all remained behind to go to the upstairs club and enjoy their last night together.
Thus ended our last day of operating.