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September 1974

The Physician-Patient in the Recovery and Intensive Care Units

Arch Surg. 1974;109(3):359-360. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360030011003

The editor of the Archives somehow or other discovered my written account of events surrounding my aortic valve replacement. He was intrigued with it and thought at least part of it might better familiarize surgeons with the emotions and apprehensions of their patients. Entrusting such reactions entirely to an internist and chest physician, I think, was considered risky. Therefore only a few sections of the orginal article are reproduced below.

Surgical replacement of my stenosed aortic valve, subsequently reported to me, went very smoothly. However, I was told that a few hours after its successful completion, internal bleeding made a second sternotomy necessary to stem the tide of exsanguination. The bleeder was successfully found and stopped, and with a few extra blood transfusions, things must have began to look up again for a number of harried surgeons.

Consciousness returned slowly after the second operation to an awareness of a new

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