When my lab-mate and super friend Janet got a deep cut on her thumb. We were working on the knee joints, and one of the professors was assisting in the dissection. She was holding the knee flexed, and the leg slipped. The professor was holding the fresh, sharp scalpel, which jabbed into her thumb. Next moment, there was a sharp scream. I ran to grab some band-aids and alcohol wipe from my handy first-aid kit and helped clean up my friend. Dr. Stern was there to wash off the blood and apply a really tight band-aid to halt the bleeding. Boy, was there so much fluorescent red blood dripping everywhere. Not too far from a gory slasher film, the blood was everywhere: on the doctor’s white coat, the sink, the floor, and the whole alcohol wipe.
After lab, some friends and I went to pay a visit to the ER. With so many visitors for a pollical repair (7 total), I’m sure the front security, young doctor, and nurse believed she was well-loved. We walked in to the doctor suturing up the cut, all video-recorded on her Blackberry. We missed the medical-students-firing-questions-at-the-doctor, since we just finished learning the muscles and vasculature of the hand. The doctor had to make sure the nerves were not damaged, for instance the motor recurrent branch of the median nerve supplying the muscles comprising the thenar eminence (the fleshy part under the thumb). Wow, applications…
In addition, several weeks ago my other friend Marjan got 2 deep cuts. It was a bloody mess as well, requiring sutures and an ER trip. He came back the next day with a mummified hand.
Anatomy is dangerous. I’ve fortunately not been cut seriously to enter the ER, but I have looked at my hands and found random small cuts. I don’t even remember how the cuts came about or whether I felt any pain. I think I’ve been either scratching myself in my sleep (bad anatomy dreams perhaps?) or giving myself minor cuts through the latex gloves in anatomy.