War Zone Medicine


megan_icon.gif sonny_icon.gif

Scene Title War Zone Medicine
Synopsis Emergency room and OR antics.
Date February 21, 2009

St. Luke's Hospital

The ER has been a madhouse this afternoon, and every single intern, resident, and surgeon on call has been brought in, along with most of the nurses on staff. The most recent run was a car accident, as mundane as that is in these days of riots and knives and guns and Evolved battles in the streets. Megan Young is working with a relatively new surgeon as the paramedics bring the case they'll take on.

"48-year-old male. Crush injuries to the sternum and left leg, lacerations down the left side of the body. Cranial damage includes the left occipital lobe, concussion to the left temple region, and crush damage to the left side of the jaw. 2 liters of saline on board, 1 liter of O-neg. Patient is tachychardic, blood oxygen is low."

The surgeon calls out, "Intubate before his throat swells closed, I need a blood type and cross match, and we need an orthopedic and a plastics surgeon in here. Call up to X-ray and CT, let neurology know. He's gonna need an OR immediately." He glances up to the staff. "Let's go, people."

One nurse picks up the phone to start making the necessary calls. Just about that time, the patient crashes and the doctors scramble to intubate. Megan wades into the fray, shaking her head at the ER interns who are botching the intubation, and steps in. "Stop!" she says to a young woman. Taking the man's head in both of her hands, she tips and holds his head in the proper alignment. "Now try," she tells the intern.

Itso happens that there is a very well-known cosmetic surgeon in the hospital at the moment. Sonny was making the rounds of a series of patients of a Dr. Reynolds - a friend who was one of the many responsible for keeping Teo's presence here a secret a few weeks back. Dr. Reynolds is off in the Bahamas with her family to have a break from the chaos that is New York, and Sonny's taken over some of her shifts.

So a page is given over the loudspeakers and Dr. Bianco is making fast tracks to the OR where he begins to prep for his own unique hybrid of Evolved and conventional surgery. The doc's still-broken nose from his run-in with the cop breaks up the symmetry of his face. Otherwise the evidence is hidden, given his ability to alter skin pigmentation. Otherwise his whole face would be an angry red.

A nurse gives him the rundown on the patient and he stands ready to meet him once he's wheeled through the OR doors.

It takes longer than it should for the intern to get the tube in, and the surgeon in charge, Dr. Vincent, demands of the intern, "What's taking so long?" It is, however, Megan who looks up and says, "The facial damage is too extensive to get the tube in. You're going to need trach him, doctor. We're losing him."

Yeah, it's not something they'd prefer to do, but the young surgeon has learned his lesson about taking orders from the nurse who just barked at him, and he does the tracheotomy himself. At which point, Megan releases the patient's head and climbs on board to bag the oxygen for the ride to the ER. "Go!" she tells the interns making the run from ER to OR.

When they arrive, she doesn't bother to get down until they're ready to heft the patient over, and she's already briefing as the doctors step in. "Jaw is fractured and the larynx appears crushed completely back into the windpipe, Dr. We've trach'd him low and he's getting air now. He's had no anesthesia, appears cognizant of his surroundings though the concussion is an issue." She climbs down the side of the bed as the OR nurses attach oxygen and steps back, covered in the patient's blood. She stands by the door, waiting to see if they can even stabilize him.

"Okay. I'm going to transfer the most critical injuries to other parts of his body. But keep an eye on his heart rate and tell me if it spikes. If it does, then I might be risking cardiac arrest and I'll have to stop." Sonny pulls a mask up over his face and looks to Megan. "Give him a shot of morphine."

Then the doc sets gloved hands on the side of the man's face. His eyes twitch back and forth as if he's reading a book. He's got to assume the others here know what he can do. There's no time to explain. "…all right. He's about to have a badly shattered wrist, but that's better than a shattered face."

He focuses intently on the injured man. A bead of sweat slips down from his forehead and along the side of his nose. "One, two…three." And there's a sudden, strange rippling of flesh and a large spike of the man's heart rate that fortunately settles after a moment or two. The man's face is still caked in blood, but his jaw is still intact. His right hand is completely crushed now and has begun to bleed. The larynx remains crushed and the trach remains.

With a nod to Dr. Bianco, Megan moves immediately to add morphine to the IV line that was run into the patient's arm in the ambulance. She glances behind her as the anesthesiologist enters the OR at a run, as well. The older woman is booked solid right now, handling back-to-back surgeries. "Sorry I'm late," she says to Bianco.

Megan has never seen Dr. Bianco work, so she watches with amazement as he does what he does. "Holy shit," she breathes.

"Nurse, stop the bleeding on his wrist. He's going to need reconstruction. I can help when the bones are set and healed in a few weeks." Sonny takes a deep breath and touches his hand to the man's now intact jaw. "Right. I'm going to have to open him back up again and see if I can get him breathing normally again, or at least to a point where it'll heal. Scalpel, please."

The doc's voice is full of the confidence of a man used to running his own (albeit unconventional) surgery. Megan gets a look and a grin with his eyes before he's back to work.

The surgery takes a good hour and a bit, but Dr. Bianco manages to repair the larynx using his relocation power to shift the injuries to other parts of his body. He performs conventional surgery as well, where his power doesn't do the trick. His relocated injuries need to be tended to fairly soon, but the patient needs to rest before surgery is performed on the less critical parts of his body. Once the man has been wheeled out to recovery, he snaps the gloves off and pulls the mask down. He breathes deep, then asks Megan, "Do you smoke?"

She's not an OR nurse, so now that the full OR staff is assembled, Megan merely stands back by the door and observes. It's an intense hours and a bit, and when it's over and Bianco asks that, she laughs softly. "Once in a while. C'mon… I'll go stand with you while you do, though. Beautiful work, Dr. Bianco."

"I don't. Well, I try not to. It's one of the reasons I'm happy not to be a hospital surgeon anymore. The stress makes me want to smoke." Sonny shrugs out of the scrubs and washes up thorougly before shrugging on the white lab coat and stepping into the hallway. He runs a hand back over curly hair that has become messy and matted down from sweat. He flags down a passing doctor who passes him a pair of cigarettes and a matchbook.

He glances back to Megan as they head for the door. "Sorry if I spooked you back there, Nurse, uh…" he checks her nametag. "…Young. I was hoping my reputation preceded me," he flashes a full, Hollywood smile. One you'd expect a cosmetic surgeon to have. But it's almost used ironically. There's not much ego in those words. He shoulders open the door to the outside smoking area.

She walks with him, pausing long enough at the locker room to grab her coat — which coincidentally enough does have cigarettes in the pocket. She promised the young EMT she'd go back on the wagon, but she has the rest of the pack there. It's her way of testing her resolve. She rejoins Bianco and heads outside to the smoking area, offering him the pack and lighter as she pulls on the coat. "It did," Megan says to him with a smile. In more ways than one — she's heard about his work from more than just hospital sources. "On the other hand, I've never seen it in action, either. That guy's gonna have problems with his hand the rest of his life, but at least he's got a life to go back to. I'm damn impressed. And for that, you can call me Megan."

"Sonny," says the doc as he offers his hand to Megan. Apparently he's not one of those draconic docs who insists on hierarchy even outside of the OR. It helps that he doesn't work here full-time, nor does he work that often in life-saving situations. Not…officially anyway. He takes the lighter from Megan, but holds up the cigarettes he bummed from the passing doctor. One is stuck behind his ear. Someone will have to remind him it's there before he goes walking back inside. He lights it and takes a long, satisfying drag. The look on his face is that of an ex-smoker indulging after a long time on the wagon himself.

"Well, don't be too impressed," the smile that flickers is a little self-depreciating. "I have lots of experience rearranging faces. And I can help him get more movement back in his hand once the bones have set. I can work on mended bones, but I can't mend broken ones." He taps his own slightly crooked nose.

Megan tucks the remains of her own pack back into the coat and leans back against the wall after shaking his hand. She can't help but laugh at the expression on his face, all too recently having had the same reactions. She's through the worst of the fits again, and so she's not going to light up — but living vicariously is good too! "Interesting limitation to the ability," she comments easily. "You have a steady hand and a good eye for priorities, Sonny. It was good to work with you," she tells him. "You going to be a regular in the plastics department?"

Sonny exhales a mouthful of smoke and shakes his head. "No, no. Just doing a little penance. Dr. Reynolds is a friend, and I owed her. She's out of town for a few weeks, so I'm covering her patients. My clients won't let me stay away from my clinic too long." Funny that distinction between 'clients' and 'patients' that Sonny makes. His work, with the exception of a few charity cases, is purely cosmetic. He taps off the ashes. They're caught by the cold breeze and go flicking away like so much murky gray snow.

He glances to her and tilts his head. "You're a veteran, I can tell. I bet you know more than most of the MDs in the ER."

Rolling her eyes, Megan shrugs a bit. "Given that the majority of them only do ER rotations because they have to, you'd probably be right," she comments mildly. "Dr. Vincent, the one who helped with your patient when he came in, has been doing ER for about 8 months. The day of the ConEd and Verrazano-Narrows thing, I think we had something like 10 doctors who had done their ER rotations anywhere from a year to 10 years ago, and the three doctors who are actually assigned to the department. Chief of surgery was in there too." She smiles a bit. "I like doing ER work, though — it's fast-paced, always challenging, and it doesn't require me to kiss anyone's ass."

"Especially these days, I'd imagine. I think we're averaging a major disaster a month." Sonny arches his brows and coughs a little as he inhales a bit too enthusiastically. "Meanwhile, the tit work goes on as usual. Fewer clients. A lot of 'em have taken off for their winter or summer houses to lay low until the city's finished imploding." He could be one of them, easily. Except it would look bad for the Mayor's son to abandon the city at a time like this. "I was a cocky son of a bitch when I did my rotation. Even though I wasn't all that good. That was before I got control of my ability."

Megan chuckles at him. "I love your description of what you do with your time," she tells him with a grin. "If you think so highly of it, how come you don't do more of what you just did in there?" She snickers. "And *all* of you younguns are cocky little bastards when you go through. Most of you don't outgrow it, either."

"I don't because as rewarding as it is…" Sonny holds up the cigarette and quirks a brow before he takes a long drag, "…it eats at you. You get addicted to the adrenaline and the power of god. I've seen too many docs descend after too long in the ER. Or in surgery for that matter. I don't want to work fourteen hours a day with four or five life or death situations a day. Besides, there are better surgeons than me." He exhales. "The others look at me like I've cheated. Because I don't just use my med school knowledge. There's none of that bullshit in my own clinic."

Megan pffts mildly, looking away toward the building. "Whatever. That's like saying a paramedic with a healing ability shouldn't use it because it's cheating. Any tool in the arsenal to save a patient should be used to its fullest extent, as far as I'm concerned. Fuck them. They're jealous." She looks back at him. Vicarious living only takes you so far. She pulls out a cigarette and lights it up, taking a drag from it before commenting, "Given the pervasive mood of the city right now, I'd be careful how much you rub their nose in it, though."

"Eh. Sure they might be jealous." Of a lot of things. Sonny Bianco appears to be living the good life. Lots of money, fast cars, beautiful women. A high profile and political influence thanks to his dad. But of course, it's not nearly as rosy as that. "I can't stand the passive-aggressiveness. I did it for years. It's bullshit. Sends my stress level through the roof. So they can have their playing god." He cracks his neck and rubs the side of it. "I'm not heroic enough to put up with it."

There's a faint grin. She may know who Sonny is — it'd be hard not to, honestly. But it doesn't seem to faze her much. "If that's the only thing sending your stress level through the roof, Sonny, count yourself lucky," she says on a smoky exhalation. Though she's only taken two puffs off the cigarette in her hand, she restricts herself to one last one and then stubs out the butt in the stand provided for such. "As far as I'm concerned - and I'm pretty sure as far as that patient was concerned in there, you were a hero today." She shrugs. "Today's all you get."

"I can take that. Only being a sometimes-hero," says Sonny. He looks a bit tired as he says that. He flicks the cigarette off into an ashtray and rubs his arms that are starting to tingle from the cold. The lab jacket doesn't keep back winter for long. "I hope I get to work with you again. I'm doing a few more shifts over the next few months to pay back a few friends." He starts in the door, then turns partway back to her. "Hope the disasters are done for awhile."

"Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph, they better be," Megan exclaims softly, feelingly. "I don't know how much more people can take. It's starting to resemble living overseas, always watchful and wary of everyone. It sucks." She shrugs a bit. "I'm sure I'll see you around, Sonny. Good luck."

"We are in a war zone, Megan. And you're Hot Lips." From the way Sonny grins at that, it's meant to be a compliment. "See you later." And no sooner is the doc through the doors when the loudspeaker pages him again. Off to put out another fire.

February 21st: You Have Not Been Forgotten
February 21st: Avenues Of Investigation
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License