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Old 06-14-2008, 05:26   #38
Guerrilla Chief
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 880
The issue with decompressing in a lower spce is that with your "muscle memory" if you use or are handed a longer catheter, the risk of a cardiac puncture in the 4th, 5th, 6th interspace increases significantly. I have operated one 2 patients with this issue in the recent past. One had a tamponade and one had an arterial line...thankfully the medic realized it and capped it rather than pulling it out. Hit the left ventricle with a 5 or 7 inch angiocath (hence harpoon). Cook catheter co. Makes a 3.5 inch wire wrapped cath that can't bend or kink in 12 gauge. They double as a needle cric but I use them for the chest. Here is a multipurpose item, which is where I'm trying to go with all kit items.
As far as the skin prep, we remove all field placed lines within 24 hrs anyway, no sterility in the field.
'Revel in action, translate perceptions into instant judgements, and these into actions that are irrevocable, monumentous and dreadful - all this with lightning speed, in conditions of great stress and in an environment of high tension:what is expected of "us" is the impossible, yet we deliver just that.
(adapted from: Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, surgeon and author: The Wisdom of the Body, 1997 )

Education is the anti-ignorance we all need to better treat our patients. ss, 2008.

The blade is so sharp that the incision is perfect. They don't realize they've been cut until they're out of the fight: A Surgeon Warrior. I use a knife to defend life and to save it. ss (aka traumadoc)
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