Department of Anesthesiology

A Day in the Life: Ben Taub Trauma Call


Item Term
Sanjana Malviya, M.D., CA-3

Item Definition

I arrive to the hospital at 2 p.m., quickly change into scrubs and start looking at the OR board. I quickly check the board and the order of release of CRNAs and residents, chat with the front desk to make sure that all the cases are accounted for, and make my assignments at the OR board at 3 p.m.. My goal is to ensure that all the day people are relieved in a timely manner, and make sure that all the cases are still able to go back on time.

As soon as I am done making assignments, my pager goes off for a Code 1 to the trauma bay- gunshot wound to the neck. I call my attending and let him know I am going to the ER, call the airway tech to bring the intubation tower and run downstairs. In the emergency department, I introduce myself to the trauma attending and the emergency room attending and let them know that I will be the backup airway person if they need assistance. The patient arrives and looks unstable with blood pouring out of the neck and chest. We intubate the patient for airway protection and the trauma surgeon and given the patient’s unstable vital signs and mechanism of trauma, we emergently wheel the patient upstairs to the operating room. On the way, I call my call anesthesia team to start setting up the case. We get the patient into the operating room and my call team has already started to draw up medications and has supplies prepared to start IVs and an arterial line. I assign roles for which team member will take the airway, access and arterial line and the case gets started. I glance at my watch briefly and see that despite how action-packed call has been so far, only two hours have elapsed since the start of my shift!

As the trauma anesthesia senior resident, my job is to run the board at shift change, manage any emergent cases that come in, manage airways for code blues and traumas, induce and extubate with junior residents during their scheduled cases throughout the night, perform any regional blocks that are needed for cases at night, and manage the recovery room with my attending. They are an excellent opportunity for us to get to work with junior residents, adapt to new situations, and practice operational skills that we will encounter in the real world. Call shifts can be busy; however, they are a culmination of all the preparation that we have received throughout residency. By training at a level one trauma center such as Ben Taub General Hospital, we are prepared to handle unexpected events that handle our way.