This month, I’m an obstetrician/gynecologist. Catching babies isn’t too hard, but I want to be comfortable knowing when I should be catching them in the ER versus having time to send an ambulance to labor and delivery.
Today, a woman who came in for an elective c-section abrupted right in front of us. That means that her placenta separated from the uterus before the baby was delivered. That’s bad for the baby…mom’s blood comes through the placenta, and bad for mom…the uterus can’t contract because it’s still full and mom loses a lot of blood.
Being my first day, I was relatively useless in the room, none of the nurses know who I was and I just stood in a corner. The pediatricians, however, know me well as I’ve spent a total of three months with them by now (18% of my residency!). So the pediatrician barely had time to put sterile gloves on, sees me as a pair of useful hands and says, “Shazam, get some gloves on quick!”. We got handed the little blue baby and started to resucitate. I have her oxygen…it hardly seemed like those tiny nostrils could get any air into them. We suctioned her throat and nose and she turned pink. But when I took the oxygen away, she slowly turned blue again as my own face became white. I gave her oxygen again and she pinked up. (So did I) This happened a total of three times before she stayed pink on her own.
I’m not sure what was going on behind my back with the obstetricians, but I was having more fun playing neonatologist anyway. That’s the great part about my residency…getting to put on so many different hats!