Tuesday 18 September 2007


Rarely (about once a year or so) one of my patients needs Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT). It's a contentious topic to some folk that I'll whitter about another time. When folk have ECT they're asleep. An anaesthetist (a doctor with decades of training and experience) gives them an anaesthetic, they drift off, they have ECT for however many seconds then they wake up and life's getting better for them.

This preamble is simply to introduce what anaesthetists (the gasmen) do since this is the funniest thing I've seen for ages and simply has to be shared :


London Medicgirl said...

Yes, they do seem to get through an awful lot of books in routine surgery!

I really loved anaesthetics, not because of the standing around doing nothing bit, but more because I find pain management really interesting.

Mousie said...

That is absolute genius!

Calavera said...

You're right - it is damn funny! One anaesthetist at one of my rotations spent the entire session gossiping on the phone with her friend, talking about her new kitchen!


Ms-Ellisa said...

That video is excellent :-)

Shiny Happy Person said...

I fucking love Amateur Transplants.

PhD scientist said...

As the spouse of an ex-anaesthetist, worth mentioning that kitchen talk-time would depend critically on the type of surgery / patient - a 4hr plastics op would give plenty of talk time, 8 short procedures on a 1/2-day list rather less.

... and Mrs PhD used to start her anaesthetics "shift" 90 min before the first op was scheduled to begin to give her a proper chance to see all the patients first. So it is harder work than it might look.

Other thing is that "airline pilot" aspect - stretches of apparent tedium interspersed with moments of total white-knuckle panic. Which is when you see the anaesthetists justifying all that training.

The Shrink said...

SHP this was the first time I've found them, delved around for zillions of other clips, all's fantastic and had to be shared.

Friends e-mail boxes are so cluttered with YouTube links :-)

PhD Scientist I agree that the anaesthetists are clever folk doing hard work. Many people don't even appreciate they're doctors (hence my initial explanation) but through quirks of fate I work with several anaesthetists over several days each week and trained with them for years so do have a realistic appreciation of the involved work they do.

Too, you're right, that anaesthetists working in operating theatres spend 95% of their time with "routine" care and 5% of their time doing vital (in the true sense) "urgent" care.

Spirit of 1976 said...

I have little to add except that I love the Amateur Transplants too.

PhD scientist said...

Yes, when Mrs PhD worked in anaesthetics I used to hear a lot about the "people don't even think we're proper doctors!!" polls and similar stuff, Shrink. Several of my medical students (half way through their first yr) didn't know anaesthetists had medical degrees either.

One funny example of the gas-crew getting left out was when there was that NHS Careers advert a few years back where the bloke faints or has a fit or seizure and falls down stairs, with a long list of all the people who helped him get better (can't remember the "backstory" exactly).

Anyway, among the 60-odd various NHS personnel who got a mention (even including a physiologist, as I remember), the poor old gasmen / women didn't get a mention, much to the amusement of the medics.