Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gross, in a sort of cool way

Squeamish alert! Do not read on if discussion of open wounds gives you the willies.

A nursing classmate of mine told me a wonderfully vile story. The patient she was caring for was a woman whose hysterectomy incision had opened up. I don’t know the specific circumstances of the case, but even well-approximated incisions (the edges coming together nicely) can open up if the stitches or staples burst open due to a forceful cough or errant Valsalva maneuver.

Anyway, that’s just academic. The reality was that the patient was quite obese and the wound was a foot deep. Yep, from the skin all the way down to where her uterus used to be was a solid 12”. Care for such a wound involves cleaning the bed of the wound to minimize the risk of infection and promote healing. It took two people bracing themselves on either side to pull back the sides of the wound enough so that another nurse could get all the way down in there with a sponge.

Wheee! Sometimes nursing is just delicious huh?


  1. I think this is the most awesome anecdote I've ever heard! But probably a good idea to break it out after dinner and not during the appetizers...