COVID-19 AND SURGERY
Eyes half closed, I rose and staggered to the corner of the room where my phone lay plugged to the wall.
“Tinesh here. We’ve got a bit of a situation. ”
Grunting into the phone, I pulled on my clothes, kissed my wife goodnight and gunned the engine of my little Honda.
Andy clamps hemostats onto bleeders and Amir ties them off with silk threads. We clean up and start closing the wound. The anesthetist gives a thumbs up. I can only see her eyes smile through the clouded visor, her face hovering over the patient’s head.
The patient is a white haired gentleman, face smothered in a crumpled mask – ravaged by COVID and obviously in pain.
“Periosteal elevator, please.” I croak through the drone of my ventilated suit.
Scrub Nurse quickly unwraps a sterile tray and hands over the sharp instrument. We frown spend a few frowning moments, slicing dark red muscle away to reveal gleaming white bone beneath….”Is the power saw ready?” I ask.
Little over a year ago, I got a call about an injured sailor on a ship newly docked in Port Klang. While I mulled over how to treat his hurt shoulder, it struck me that his Ship had started her voyage in the waters of Wuhan, China.
That little detail changed everything.