This week at Macquarie Island: 13 October 2017

This week, we get a glimpse into the world of the Macca Expedition Doctor during an appendicitis surgery training exercise.

Macca medical surgery training exercise

If one of our expditioners falls ill or has an injury that requires surgery, the station doctor needs lots of help to perform an operation safely. They only have one set of hands after all!

Each year during pre-departure training, four expeditioners undertake the role of Lay Surgical Assistants (LSAs). They head off to learn all about the operating theatre environment at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Here, they are taught how to scrub and gown, how to maintain sterility during an operation while assisting the doctor, and how to monitor a patient while they are under an anaesthetic.

Part of ongoing station training is to practice these new skills, so on Friday 6 October Macca’s four LSAs, David, Wayne, Kerri and Geoff were put through their paces with a full theatre case scenario.

Our ‘patient’ just happened to be the Station Leader, who sadly had developed appendicitis, with no other alternative other than to operate! Under the watchful eyes of Kerri and Geoff, our beloved SL drifted off to sleep in an anaesthetic haze, whilst Wayne and David bustled about counting haemostats, packs and needles with surgical precision, and Dr Jan artfully removed the offending organ without spilling so much as a drop of blood. Success!!

Hopefully we never have to use these skills in real life, but the team is capable and ready to spring into action if needed. 

Dr. Jan Wallace - 2017 Macquarie Island Expedition Doctor

The Macca medical team getting ready to perform a mock surgery.
The Macca medical team commence preparations for the full theatre case scenario.
The doctor giving instructions to two of the lay surgical assistant.
Lay surgical assistant Wayne and Dave under the guidance of Doc Jan.
Prepping the patient for mock appendicitis surgery.
Prepping for appendicitis surgery on the Macca Station Leader.
LSA Dave closely monitors vital signs during the surgery training exercise
LSA Dave closely monitors vital signs during the surgery training exercise
Doc Jan commences the appendicitis surgery
Doc Jan commences the appendicitis surgery
LSA's Geoff & Kerri keep a watchful eye on the patient during the surgery training exercise
LSA's Geoff & Kerri keep a watchful eye on the patient during…
Mock appendicitis surgery training
Mock appendicitis surgery training
LSA Kerri recording patient notes and medication administration during the surgery training exercise
LSA Kerri recording patient notes and medication administration during the surgery training…
LSA Geoff monitoring the administration of IV fluids during the surgery training exercise
LSA Geoff monitoring the administration of IV fluids during the surgery training…
Surgery successfully complete!
Surgery successfully complete!