DeNolf had just started her shift when the second-year resident at Kaweah Delta found herself at a familiar operating table – only this time, she was carrying out a procedure she’d only practiced before.
“I’ve only had two simulations,” she explained. “And the third time was the real deal.”
DeNolf didn’t know the mother had been shot twice in the head, but she did know she had just seconds to take the baby out and that perimortem C-sections like this one are rarely successful.
“I got my scalpel out,” she said. “We, as emergency physicians, also carry a 10 blade and an 11 blade. My attendant said, ‘Cut,’ so I cut.”
The baby came out barely moving, not breathing but after a few tense seconds, they found a pulse.
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