We're a little crazy, about science!

Sometimes things get cancelled

Today was a big day. We got the equipment ready, the patient consented, and everyone on the clinical side of things was on the same page we were on. Things were going well. Surprisingly well in fact, that should’ve been the first sign something was going to go wrong. This time it wasn’t our fault though! Sometimes you just can’t catch a break, so maybe next time.

Yesterday (here) I discussed how excited I was to be going into the OR for another shot at the experiment we were trying to do. The data from the last experiment was… less than stellar because we couldn’t sync our data with their data, so we had happy looking data with no way to do anything with it. Don’t worry though it will forever be stored on our hospital drive, a memorial to our failure! I’m only semi-joking, we hold on to the data, which doesn’t make sense to me since we have no obligation to do so. We can’t do anything with it so it will sit there until either the lab moves to a different hospital or the hospital decides to (for whatever reason) limit our data storage.

This time we were ready and I got to get my arts and crafts on. It was actually enjoyable! I had a relaxing time making some adaptors to help us avoid the troubles from the last attempt. They seemed to do okay too, but we didn’t get that far. After waking up so early I felt like my eyeballs were going to bleed!!!!! I made my way to the hospital, we grabbed our equipment, met with surgeon-PI to discuss everything, and got the patient consent.

Just some of the soldering I had to do over the weekend.

Once in the OR we got our cart setup, the clinical team set up right next to us like we asked, and things were going great. They were going to record some extra data for us that we specifically requested and everything I was thrilled and they seemed pretty excited to be working with us too. Once they had everything ready to go we were about to test, but then everything came to a stop. Apparently the patient was having some issues and the procedure had to be canceled. Now I could probably talk about the issues specifically without violating HIPAA, but to err on the side of caution, I will just say the procedure had to be cancelled about an hour into getting everything prepped.

Which of course means we had to remove all our equipment, get it all cleaned, etc. and get out of there as quickly as possible so the OR could be cleaned and prepped for the next case. In the end we didn’t get data, but we got the chance to see how it smoothly things could go between our two groups and the result was great. There were a few bumps, the clinical tech we were coordinating with had expected hospital-PI to text him to tell him we had a case. We had assumed they knew about the case so they came over about 20 minutes into our setup. Luckily, the clinical tech who was there knew us from the last attempt so they were very receptive to having us around.

We also got to go over everything we were doing specifically with our cart there to explain how we set things up, the techs thought the stuff we were doing was interesting and offered a few bits of advice on how to set things up. We also all got to laugh a little about the last attempt since apparently it was a pretty big thing. I didn’t realize how big of a thing that last attempt was, but a lot of people got phone calls about it and there was a lot of drama surrounding it. Which is probably why I had like five different people asking me who I was, what department I worked in, and why I was in the OR.

Overall this time was much smoother and that hopefully means the next time we get the chance to go in things will run even better. We’re not certain when our next attempt will be right now, but we have all the equipment setup at least and no real headaches. Even hospital-PI, who has notoriously high standards said he was impressed with how smoothly things were going. Since this project is actually four or so projects combined into one, I’m sure we’ll be back in the OR soon since everyone involved wants the data soon. I’m hopeful that in the next week or so we can actually collect some good data.

And I’m really hoping the next time won’t be so early in the morning. I mean I can do early if I have to, but I would rather not. It just feels like it ruins my whole day. I’ll get up early for surgery though, it’s worth it.


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