Ahhh… Grey’s Anatomy Fans.
I need your help . . .
This may seem funny coming from a medical expert like myself but . . .
I. Have. No. Idea. What. Mark. Sloan. Died. Of?
The tumultuous end of last season– the plane crash with almost every major character on the plane left us in doubt as to who survived and who didn’t.
At the beginning of the current season, it’s assumed Mark Sloan is dead. But then, he’s not. But then, he is.
From a medical standpoint, I do give Grey’s credit for showing some true aftermath of the crash. A renowned neurosurgeon who no longer has full function of his dominant hand and can no longer do surgery. Kudos. The post-traumatic stress aspects that had one character going through some fairly severe post-traumatic stress. Honestly, how Christina is still walking upright . . . you know after the whole gun situation too when she had to operate on Derick with a weapon to her head.
But what would have been terminal for this doctor? His heart was too weakened by the crash he wouldn’t live? Hmm… how about a heart transplant? Vasoactive drips? An LVAD device?
To confuse matters more– he signs a 30-day DNR order where if he hasn’t fully recovered, they are to discontinue life support.
But, he still has the breathing tube in his mouth at the end of 30 days.
And here is my teaching point at the end of all my musings. Generally, a ventilator dependent patient (or one who isn’t recovering quickly) is typically taken to surgery and a trach is placed somewhere between 7-14 days (sometimes sooner.) A trach is easier to take of and a more secure airway. Having an endotracheal tube in the mouth and through the vocal cords for that long can cause damage.
So keep this time frame in mind fellow fiction authors.
And please . . . someone tell me . . . what did Mark Sloan die from?