SN 15 | EP 1 | End Zone
Dr. Jonathan Wenk tends to a man's dislocated shoulder as the patient's teenage son, Chad, looks on. Before he's sedated, the man brags about Chad's all-star football future, and schools the boy on how to be tough. But as soon as his dad is asleep, Chad confides in Dr. Wenk: he's been suffering from stomach pains and intense headaches. Dr. Wenk must focus on his patient, and the son's complaints are a distraction but when Chad suddenly collapses, priorities shift quickly! Chad comes around while dad is still unconscious and asks Dr. Wenk not to tell his father about his problem, but Dr. Wenk knows this could be serious. He suspects a head trauma from football, and when the proud father wakes up, Dr. Wenk has to navigate the situation carefully. He persuades the reluctant sports dad to consent to a CT scan for his son. The results are ominous. They reveal that Chad has had a stroke. A CT Angiogram reveals a condition that's even more serious, and extremely rare in a young patient. The imaging reveals a vascular dissection -- a tear in a blood vessel that probably occurred on the football field. Dr. Wenk has to recommend that Chad give up football a bitter pill, especially for his fanatical father. Dr. Harry Severance began his career more than 40 years ago at an elite trauma center. He recalls one event that was essentially his rite of passage into the world of emergency medicine. In an uncanny coincidence, just days into the young doctor's final year of residency, a man is shot in the parking lot of the trauma center. He's rushed in, barely alive, with a bullet in his chest. Dr. Severance is barely able to get his bearings before the attending physician announces that they need to crack the patient's chest open, and instructs him to reach into the man's chest, pinch the bullet hole in the heart to stem the bleeding, and with his other hand, perform cardiac massage. As he complies with these onerous instructions, Dr. Severance is hoisted onto the gurney, and the team rushes the patient to the operating room with Severance literally straddling him, both hands in his chest. It's at this point that Dr. Severance describes "the scariest moment of my entire life" the man suddenly opens his eyes, staring at the young intern who is just inches from his face! In the O.R., the patient is sedated and put on a ventilator, but the challenges for the shell shocked Dr. Severance continue. Until the team is able to suture the man's bleeding heart, he must hold the wound closed, with the sharp needle just inches from his vulnerable fingers. In Dr. Sarah Carrier's ER, music is sometimes the best medicine. Nurse Stu is an aspiring songwriter, who likes to write country tunes at work. But on this day, he's suffering from writers block. That will soon change. Dr. Carrier's first patient is a woman complaining of abdominal pain, believing that it was caused by her tiny dog, who jumped on her belly. This is an unlikely story, but Dr. Carrier orders tests to determine what's actually happening. Already, Nurse Stu's creative wheels are turning. And now, a second patient is rolled in by EMS: a middle-aged man who has been run over by his own motorcycle trailer not once but twice! The paramedic explains that it was his wife behind the wheel, and when she arrives with their extroverted young son, the story begins to deepen. Was this an attempted murder? The police soon arrive, and the patient is finally able to explain that the whole thing was an accident. Dr. Carrier determines that the man's injuries are not life threatening, and as she sends him off to surgery, she gets the test results from the patient with the dog. As it turns out, a severe case of diverticulitis was the cause of her pain, which was indeed triggered by the tiny dog jumping on her belly. Both patients will make a full recovery and Nurse Stu is so inspired by the day's events, that he unveils a new ballad called "Life is a Ruptured Colon".
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