Care in an Emergency - Brookings Health System

My name's Tom Chase and I'm a professor at SDSU. I'm in the Plant Science department and I'm a professor of plant pathology. I study plant diseases and I teach students courses related to that subject. I had to have part of my intestine removed because it had become strangulated in my umbilical hernia.

Signs of and Emergency

Well I had tremendous pain right around that naval area and stomach and at first I thought maybe it was just from an empty stomach or something like that. But as it went on it got worse and that's when I came right into the emergency room here at Brookings.

Emergency Staff

They didn't wait around just to see if it was something minor. They went right to work and they got the surgeon in there right away too. He was in there within 15 minutes. And they had me on the x-ray machine and the CAT-scan immediately to find out what the problem was. The surgeon was really good, he didn't hem and haw. He went right to me and gave me the honest information about what needed to be done. And we went right to it and got the first surgery done that night, on a Friday night I came in.

Emergency Surgery

Well with the umbilical hernia, there's a kind of a fault in where the naval is. And a weakness in the muscle or abdominal wall there. So the intestines slipped through that and got pinched off. And that's the way I understand it. And of course, with the blood supply to it cut off, they had to go in there and free it.

Follow-Up Surgery

The first surgery he was going in to free up the intestine and they wanted to see if it would survive, so to speak. And he gave it about 24 hours and it was clear that it wasn't going to be viable. Then we had to go back in for the second surgery. And all along the way, he explained all this to me. He was really good about letting know why he was doing what he was doing and why we had to do it. And so it went pretty smoothly actually. I went in for the second surgery and that was really not a problem. I was in a little discomfort afterwards, but it really solved the problem.

Stay at Brookings Health System

My stay was about five days. I went in on Friday night and I was released on Wednesday. The care was excellent. All the nurses were just great. They watched over me like my own mom would've done, as far as I'm concerned, and made sure I everything I need and that I was comfortable.

Pain Management

They didn't want me to be in the slightest bit of pain. So I was I think primarily on a Morphine drip. And that's metered and everything. But that managed the pain levels I was at pretty well.

What Did You Appreciate Most About Brookings Health System?

I think it was the competency and the care, if you want to put the two terms together. The surgeon was, in my opinion, really good. And I have to maintain that opinion just based on how I've been since the surgery. And I was just totally impressed with the care and professionalism of the nursing staff and my anesthesiologist and all the people there, the x-ray technicians, everybody. It was just a super experience.

Would You Recommend Surgery at Brookings Health System?

Yes, I would recommend Brookings and I've done so to colleagues and friends. I told them about my experience and how positive it was. So I wouldn't have any qualms about coming back into Brookings for surgery for myself. And it's only three blocks down the street from my house so.