Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fixing a Hole

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time comes from The Godfather, when the foolishly stubborn Hollywood producer refuses a request from Don Corleone and wakes up the next morning in blood-soaked sheets to find the head of his race horse laying at his feet.  Great scene for a movie, less great if it happens in real life.

Especially if you happen to be a 72 year old recently discharged from the hospital after having a graft to repair an aneurysm in your leg.  One of my patients from the other night woke up on his first night home and felt something wet in the sheets.  Turning on the lights, he discovered a large pool of blood formed below his leg.  EMS rushed him to our critical care area, where we observed a steady leaking of blood out from underneath the tegaderm that covered his wound vac.  Surgery rushed down to see him, and was shortly thereafter I was able to bring him up to the OR.

Given his history of anxiety, the news that he was at risk of losing his leg was especially not well-received.  Thankfully, his son and daughter were with him, and both were extremely supportive.  I wished him luck, and hoped that the surgeons were able to repair the graft and save the leg.

I never found out what happened to him, but at least he didn't have a severed horse head and an angry Don to add to his troubles.

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