A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook

Plastic Surgeons in the Emergency Room?

Plastic Surgeons in the Emergency Rooom?

Seattle Plastic Surgeon is proud of fellow plastic surgeon, Dr. Ross Bunch

Last month I attended the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Boston. I was lucky to attend a special presentation by Dr. Ross Bunch of Tuscaloosa, Alabama on the emergency medical response to the carnage left by the EF-5 tornado of April 27th. Dr. Bunch was finishing up a breast reconstruction (his fifth case of the day) at about 5:00 pm when the lights went out and the windows in the hospital recovery room exploded. He went from the operating room straight to the emergency room where, over the next 12 hours he treated 30 patients,one carried in on a door or one pushed in on rolling office chair. His most dramatic case was that of an elderly man whose face was alvulsed and hanging by a lateral flap of skin and fat.  Dr. Bunch reattached his face in the hallway with the aid of emergency lighting.

A total of 800 emergecy cases were treated by the various doctors who reported for emergency duty.

The following week, Dr. Bunch provided post op care for his patients and many others who had delayed healing and/or infections of their wounds given the high level of complexity of the injuries.  (Tornados do not use sterile technique).  His presentation made me proud of my profession and the things we do under the most dire of circumstances.

I am on Emergency Room call tonight and my guess is, if I get called, it won’t be anything more exciting than a dog bite requiring a few dozen stitches  but who knows?   Maybe the Big One (in Seattle that would be an earthquake) will hit and I’ll go into disaster mode like Dr. Bunch did.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Category: Plastic Surgery, Trauma | Tags: , , , , ,

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