Saturday, December 1, 2012

Critical Care Day 5

Yesterday was the last day of my critical care rotation.  As soon as we got there we brought a cat down for an ultrasound and found out that it had a large mass right where its small intestine meets its large intestine.  After obtaining a sample of the mass via a needle, it appeared that it was most likely cancer.  I have seen a lot of cancer since I've been on clinics, I never realized it was as prevalent as it really is.  In the afternoon we went the the CSLC and learned how to perform CPR on a dog and how to deal with clients whose pets have just died.  I really enjoyed the week, it was a really good rotation. 

Last night, I spent about 6.5 hours in the ER hanging out.  Pretty much the whole time was spent working on a cat that had a history of jumping out of its owners arms and down 8 steps and then landing a little funny.  Radiographs showed pneumomediastinum (air in the middle compartment of the chest in which the heart, esopahgus, trachea, lymph nodes and large blood vessels live) and pneumoretroperitoneum (air in the space surrounding the abdomen, the kidneys are located in the retroperitoneum).  They also suspected pneumothorax (air in the chest, around the lungs, this is different from pneumomediastinum which means air only in the middle compartment, not around the lungs).  We did end up finding pneumothorax so a chest tube was put in and attached to a vacuum to pull air out.  Unfortunately, it was a continuous pneumothorax, meaning that although we were pulling air out, air was getting in through somewhere.  A CT scan was run however that was inconclusive.  However, they are suspecting a tracheal tear, where a tear/hole is made in the cat's windpipe.  When I left, the cat was in ICU still on the vacuum and given a strong painkiller.  I'm not sure what will happen from here. 

Tomorrow I have some family coming to Champaign for church and the afternoon/evening so that should be fun.  I hope everyone has/had a great weeekend!

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