The fifth OR experiment
Well we did it. I finally have the first (mostly) complete dataset from a patient. Overall I think it went well and we got good data. Mistakes were made! But thankfully none of them derailed the project and overall I am happy with the outcome. Let’s get into what went wrong and what went right, because having some post surgical notes will help me next time we do our thing.
It’s that time of the year! The time when people are having all sorts of surgeries because insurance resets after the new year so there’s literally a busy season for surgical cases (who knew?!). The timing works out great for us because we have experiments we’re trying to do and it seems like everyone we tell about this project wants to have some data collected for their side project. In total we are up to more than six different experiments rolled into this rather large and complex package.
It’s not too bad though, most of the stuff is redundant, I’m looking at one portion of the data for something, another person wants to use the same portion to find something else. Teamwork is great like that. So we have a lot of people who are looking forward to seeing this data. Most of the experiments are for our lab though so it’s been a bit frustrating that the stuff we’re doing for us just doesn’t seem to work out.
We’ve had five attempts at collecting a dataset, that could have been five full datasets and in our field 8-10 or so is the ideal situation, so we would be well on our way to having the project done. However, since the experiment is really an interlocking set of experiments we have yet to complete the full thing. We’ve managed to get some for different portions of what we want to do, but we’ve yet to have one full dataset from a patient.
The good news is we have no shortage of volunteers. It makes me very happy to see so many people wanting to help. I’ve even had a person I was consenting ask if we could follow up with them to give updates and to see if the data we collected from them was helpful. I love being a researcher.
So after four failed attempts (or at least partial failures) we’ve been dying to get a full dataset and yesterday was finally the day! I managed to get not only the full dataset, but we found some of the things we were looking for from the data we collected that the clinical side verified for us (since they have fancy software that can do it semi-realtime).
All in all yesterday was a good day. We had a sensor fall off, but that couldn’t be helped. Surgeon-PI, who was the one doing the surgery, had to slow me down a bit, which was helpful too. Hospital-PI couldn’t be there for this attempt so I was going solo and it was a lot of work. I didn’t have anyone with me who knew what to do, so I had to do both the stuff hospital-PI would do, plus the stuff I normally had to do.
We were stuck working in a smaller space (or at least it felt small), but that may have worked in our favor since the cables we run aren’t very long to start with. There were a few things I would’ve done differently, but since we got the data we really wanted I think I will just chalk this up as a success and make a few mental notes for the next time around. Which will be in about a week if I recall the schedule correctly.
Lots to do!