Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pitstop PICU

Great Ormond St have been in the news lately with their improvements to post-op logistics, which they credit to a collaboration with Ferrari pit crews. The parallel never even occurred to me, but it's an interesting one and something which I'm going to be thinking about over the next month or so.
The major restructuring of the patient handover procedure, resulting directly from the input of the F1 pit technicians, will soon be described in two scientific publications.

"It is not too early to say that, when we look at the number of critical instances we encounter, they have reduced markedly since we introduced the modified training protocol developed from what we have learned from Formula 1," said Prof Elliott.

The single A4 sheet of paper, which contained the flow diagram of Ferrari's pit procedure, became several pages of twice that size when Mr Stepney and his colleagues at Ferrari were confronted with the critical transfer from operating theatre to recovery room at Great Ormond Street.

"They were quite shocked at the complexity of what we did and the kind of kit we had at our disposal," said Prof Elliott. "They saw us operating on a solid table with the child under a heating or cooling blanket and all the vital connections to the various bits of equipment and then having to unplug everything and use a hand-operated ventilator as we took the patient out of the theatre, into the lift and along the corridor to intensive care."
I have a new job, at least for awhile--I'm filling in for the departing PICU technician until they find a replacement for him. It's an interesting line of work, though not something I'd consider doing full-time since there is little patient contact. Basically I get to look after all the machinery around the place, troubleshoot ventilators, pumps, monitors, make sure there's plenty of all the major stock items we use (ever run out of ventilator circuits at 9 PM on a Friday night? It's not pretty) and in general find solutions for many of the odd problems we encounter in the course of our work.

It will mean no night shifts for a month or so, and a chance to try something different. Plus I figure more familiarity with the 'gotchas' of the technology we use every shift couldn't hurt.

I believe HK is in the throes of buying a house at present, so she is probably undergoing considerable stress!
Posted by PaedsRN at 4:09 PM

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