Sultana-related Sentinel Event

The LITFL team have heard through the grape vine that Professor Inglebert Struvite Staghorn, at the bequest of the Society for the Prevention of Surgery, has been investigating an unfortunate episode currantly referred to as the ‘Sultana-related Sentinel Event’.

A bunch of eye witness reports obtained by the Inquisitorial Disciplinary Committee has revealed that the following events may or may not have actually taken place:

  • 0800: The patient is brought into the operating theatre.
  • 0801: Induction of anesthesia is commenced.
  • 0930: The anesthetist is satisfied that patient is now ready for open heart surgery to begin.
  • 0931: The anesthetist leaves the operating theatre as it is time for his morning break. Surgery continues.
  • 1101: The anesthetist returns from his morning break.
  • 1102: The anesthetist leans over the surgical drapes (aka blood-brain barrier) to assess the surgeon’s progress. As he does so, the anesthetist pulls up his surgical mask from around his neck to prevent the emission of exhalations in the vicinity of the new scrub nurse with the big blue eyes.
  • 1103: Surgery is stopped.
  • 1104: The surgeon is heard to exclaim: “What the F$%K is that?” as he grasps a small object with his forceps, that was seen to roll into the open chest wound and start bouncing up and down on the undulating epicardial surface of the heart.
  • 1105: Silence.
  • 1106: The anesthetist is heard to clear his throat and say: ” It appears to be a sultana”.

UCEM investigators are currantly working to determine whether there is any connection between the above alleged event and other eye-witness observations suggesting that:

  • the anesthetist was seen eating sultanas during his 1h 30 min morning break.
  • during this time the anesthetist had a surgical mask around his neck.

Some analysts have already wined that if the Society for the Prevention of Surgery had followed Assistant Sub-Professor Egerton Yorick Davis IV‘s advice such an event would never have happened. Davis IV, of course, is well known for championing the mandatory wearing of UCEM-approved gas masks during an operation. Other analysts have preferred to take a more sanguine perspective, stating that we should be grapeful for the research opportunities this affords. As highlighted by Professor Harry Stickler, there is now the possibility of the first n=1 trial of a sultana-encrusted mitral valve prothesis for treatment of severe mitral regurgitation. The scope for future research involving other food items, such as biscuit crumbs and bits of a ham sandwich, is enormous.

The final outcome of Professor Staghorn’s investigation, including the raisins for this unsettling occurrants, is keenly awaited. Prof Staghorn’s parting comment on the ferment was:

“One things for sure… We chianti let this happen again without ethics approval, or we’ll all be left with a sweaty, barnyard, band-aid taste in our mouths.”

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