Archive for April, 2010

Labor and Delivery

April 9, 2010

Gonna try something new; instead of long posts, gonna just toss out some random stuff in brief.  Here goes.

Spending a month on the labor and delivery service.  Got to deliver a placenta, and had a resident guide me through delivering a baby (her hands on top of mine for the most part).  Scrubbing into c-sections.  Neat watching the little babies come to life when they pop out of mom’s vagina or uterus or what have you.

Flip side is a lot of babies that are too young to be “viable.”  The cut off here is about at 23 weeks of gestation; after that time, they will try but before, no effort is taken.  It’s a little bizarre being in on the discussions of whether or not to stave off pre-term labor a little bit longer, give steroids, etc or whether it is better to advise to throw in the towel.

One of the residents here delivered twins at 21 weeks.  At that age they are considered non-viable; they may come out with heartbeats and breathing, but there is no way they will survive.  And so the twins were delivered and taken from the room; I guess it is sort of the policy of the service to not let the parents see them until all signs of life have stopped.  I wasn’t there personally, but I can see how that can shake one up.  I’ve observed a few dilation and curettage/evacuations here for therapeutic purposes.  Reassembling the little bits of fetus after sucking them out through a tube to make sure you got them all is a bit of an unnerving experience.  Yesterday a family wanted to see their evacuated 14 week old fetus.  The resident did her best to sort of assemble the parts into a form resembling that of a human being so the family could see on the plastic lid of the pathology container.  Think what you wish about abortion as a social issue, but when you get down to it, it’s a pretty grisly process.

Anyway.  That’s my brief update!  Hopefully more to come in a similar manner.