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Defibrillating with Soup Spoons

So I’m treating this patient the other day. He’s a little intoxicated. Got whacked in the head and needed some staples to close his scalp laceration.

When I’m fixing patient’s various injuries, I feel like a barber sometimes. I strike up conversations … ask how their families are doing … how did they get in this predicament … that type of thing.

This fellow comes straight out with a doozy.

“When I was growing up, our next door neighbor was famous.”
“Really, why?”
“The husband was a surgeon in a small town hospital. There was a kid whose heart stopped beating after surgery and he saved the kid.”
“That’s awesome. What did he do?”
“He used two spoons to defibrillate the patient back to life.”
“Spoons. Like silverware?”
“Yup. Heart started beating and he lived.”

By this time I already messed up one staple trying to process what happened.

“Wait. Wait. Wait. He used two spoons. How did he keep from being shocked himself?”
“I don’t know.”
“Mmmmm hmmm. And what did he use for an electricity source? A car battery or something?”
“Nope. A fan cord. He ripped it out of the fan and wrapped it around the spoon.”
“Mmmmm hmmm.”
“In fact, there was a story in Time Magazine about him.”
“Mmmmm hmmm. Wow. That’s a great story. Must have been a great doctor.”
“He was. Nice guy, too.”

I don’t even know why I bothered, but I wrote myself a note to look this up online. Snopes.com … nothing. So I did a search on DuckDuckGo.com with “doctor spoons fan cord”. First result?

Time Magazine. October 1959. Dr. Russell Simonetta defibrillated a 19 year old whose heart stopped after surgery – using spoons and an electrical cord.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

One of the reasons I love my job so much is that I couldn’t make stuff like this up if I tried.

I owe this guy a beer.

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