We're a little crazy, about science!

Update from the OR

I don’t share actual surgery photos online (even if I could, I don’t know that I would), but there are plenty stock photos, like this one!

No, I’m not updating this while I’m in the OR, but we had OR attempt number five as a maybe today and I have good news. We managed to get a yes at the last minute and got some interesting data. It’s all very exciting, so now I need to dig around and see what we found. For sake of remembering, let’s run through how today went!

The good news is that we got the data, we’re happy, the clinical side is happy, everyone is happy. The bad news is we have yet to do the full experiment! One particular portion of our project, ironically the part that started this whole increasingly complex experiment, had to be scrapped today. It wasn’t our fault or the fault of the patient though (not that the patient could do something wrong), it was due to some paperwork! Luckily we should be good to go next round, but nevertheless, attempt number five was mostly a success for the other parts of the experiment.

The day went about how I expected. Since this was a surprise to me, I didn’t find out about the experiment until Friday afternoon, I didn’t have a chance to make some changes to the equipment I wanted to have done and ready. Instead of not making the changes (and possibly risking the wrath of the data gods), I decided to get in early to test the equipment and set everything up the best way possible.

That could’ve ended poorly, but I’m happy to say that it did not! I got all the changes I wanted to make done, rearranged a few things, moved some equipment around, etc, and it all managed to work correctly the FIRST TIME!!! That was probably a good sign for us.

Once we got to the OR everything went smoothly. We’ve been very practiced in setup after four other previous attempts, so we worked fast and I like to think everything was done to the best of our ability. Unlike the previous attempt (here), were we attempted to set up only to have the surgeon start before I finished. That was either a misunderstanding or a miscommunication on our part, but this time we got it all setup without any trouble.

Thanks to the help of the clinical staff, who have been coordinating with us for awhile now, we got some good data. Now that we’re all on the same page everything went smooth and we ran into almost zero issues. The problems we did end up having weren’t anyone’s fault though, mostly equipment fighting us or signals being lost. These things happen though so all-in-all everything went according to plan and I’m excited to say we got like 90% of what we were after.

Currently there are four more attempts scheduled this month with possibly one or two more. It’s a busy time of the year for surgeries because insurance runs out or resets, so this is the perfect time to try and collect the data we want. If all goes well the next dataset will be our complete experiment.

After the weekend I had, this was surprisingly a good day. Speaking of which, the car managed to get me to the hospital with no problems, so it’s good to see I can still work a wrench. Taking anything apart and putting it back together again is tenuous even for the most experienced person because one little thing (say a fuel line that is starting to go bad…) can cause major problems.

Now, I should get started analysing the data and making sense of what we found. On the list of priorities one thing I am particularly interested in is near the bottom, but according to the clinical side the thing I was looking for was found, which is a very exciting result and I hope we keep finding it because it will be a big deal if that’s the case. As usual, it’s very hush, hush, but I’m excited so let’s just leave it at that.

The week is off to a good start, hopefully the trajectory will continue!


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