An anesthesiologist's view of the human heart

This is a really fascinating entry in The Guardian's multi-video package about heart health and medicine. Bruce Martin, a British anesthesiologist, talks about his job, anesthetizing patients for heart surgery. If this doesn't make your job seem less stressful by comparison, then you're probably a fighter pilot or something.

Via Ed Yong


  1. what does “media offline” mean? 

    maggie – your posts have always been amazing, but the last day or so they have been incredible.  just when boingboing seemed naively infatuated with the occupy [whatever] movements to the exclusion of anything else, your posts remind me of why I check boingboing several times a day.  cheers.

    1. “Media offline” means that this video was not QC’ed before it was uploaded. When a piece of media, such as a still image or a video clip, is included in an edited sequence but then the file is either removed from the system or the path to the file is broken, the editing software can no longer see the media it expects at that time in the sequence and so displays a “media offline” message in its place.

      I have to QC the episodes of a children’s tv series I direct before they are sent to the broadcaster, and my heart sank when I saw this in the video above. Hard to believe this made it to the Guardian’s website and is still there now.

      1. Well, this IS the Grauniad we’re talking about. Their copy-editing has been infamously bad since they were still published from Manchester…

  2. I do this job, and I wish I had the software that he is using to better understand the TEE (esophagus doesn’t start with an “O” here in the states.)  EXCELLENT POST.

  3. I get to do this job too, but as a firefighter/paramedic! Sometimes, it’s anesthetizing and intubating someone on their living room floor. Sometimes, it’s outside on the street, in the gutter, etc.  in the snow, rain, dark, etc. 

    To keep our skills up, anesthesiologists kindly let us come  into the operating room and provide airway management. I admire the skill these physicians display – day in and day out, and they are extremely generous in sharing with us their knowledge. They certainly earn every  penny they make in the OR!

    An excellent post!

  4. Nice to see my profession getting a bit of good publicity. We generally work in the background, only noticed on the rare occasions when something goes wrong.

    1. i can only agree, the modern operating procedures and their successes were only made possible by the leaps and bounds our profession made in the last 50 years, today it’s the surgeon that restores function but anesthesists are keeping you alive

  5. Just a little nitpicking: the man in the video is not an anesthesiologist. He is an anesthetist. In the United States, anesthesia is done by both nurses and physicians. To distinguish themselves from nurse anesthetists, physicians call themselves anesthesiologists. In the UK and other parts of the world, there are no nurse anesthetists and therefore no use for the word anesthesiologist.

  6. Amazing how such advanced software and capabilities could be available or even developed in a socialized medicine scheme. We’re led to believe in the US that socialized medicine is inferior, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

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