After things died down around 8pm a few of us threw on flip flops and headed to the roof of the hospital. We heard a woman wailing and some sort of commotion outside the gates. Lo and behold it was a woman in labor. She made it all the way to the hospital only to give birth literally right outside our gate. A for effort? We saw a healthy looking infant handed off to someone and the woman was escorted inside in a wheelchair. Because we are not an Obstetrics hospital, we don’t do births… but you can hardly turn someone away who literally went into labor on your threshold.
All of a sudden we hear someone yell, “does anyone know how to properly deliver a placenta?” It was like a batsignal…what every med student dreams of. It was like someone yelled “can anyone retract for me? Who here can do an overly detailed patient social history? Is there anyone here who can get records faxed from another hospital?” You see, delivering the placenta (or “afterbirth”) is a quintessentially medical student task. That’s not to say its not important, there are actually many things that can go wrong when doing this that I won’t enumerate lest I make some of you queasy. Regardless, Obstetrics was my last rotation and I felt more than confident in my placenta delivering abilities. So I leapt up and ran downstairs to the ED in my flip flops where I instructed the resident to hold superpubic pressure and I delivered the placenta in one fell swoop/spin. People actually cheered which may be the first time in history that a medical student received cheers for performing this particular task. But of everyone there, I had done this most recently and none of the residents felt comfortable in their obstetric abilities. The prize for my placental heroics was, of course, getting to hold the new baby.