Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yesterday morning one of the Pediatricians took a small group of us to the animal lab on base. They taught us how to insert chest tubes and intubate babies. In order to practice these skills we put chest tubes in cute, fluffy bunnies and stuck tubes down the ferret's airways. Yes, the animals were as cute as the pictures I found online. Keep in mind that I worked as the animal Nazi for several months and killed countless numbers of animals. I now kill with no remorse. The poor rabbit had a chest tube placed on either side. We were to introduce air into his pleural space which created a pneumothorax. We observed the physiological change and then tried to evacuate the air. The animal was anesthetized and was lying comfortably on the table. When the lung was collapsed it became tachypneic, tachycardic and had prominent nasal flaring. The intern went first and I followed on the other side. I think the rabbit had expired before I even made my first incision. So much for saving the rabbit and nursing it back to health after the procedure!! The ferrets were also sedated and after several intubations may have nasty sore throats but should continue to live happy ferret lives in their quaint ferret habitat. I will see you again next year little ferret.


  1. HAPPY LIVES? How can they? They were TORTURED!! They will forever remember that day. And have nightmares about it.


    P.S. I still love you though!

  2. SO sad!! But ... it saves children's lives! Kids go through that kind of crap and bounce back ... the nightmares fade. :)

  3. Ironic that you have to kill in order to save lives but it's great to practice those skills before you're doing it emergently(chest tubes and intubations that is).
    I was part of a group who trialed an occilator ventillator on a dog. We anesthetised it, intubated it and put IV's and arterial lines in. We poured dish detergent down the ET tube to induce ARDS and then tried to ventilate it with the occilator. As I recall it didn't work real well. The dog died pretty quickly. The occilator is great for babies but not so good for adults. I'm still a bit traumatized by that memory.