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Sunday, May 27, 2018


San Diego Doctor Risks Career while Saving Life

GUEST BLOG / By Richard Hardick-- Doctor Kevin Shaw, a class of 1994 grad from San Diego’s St. Augustine High School, recently shocked not only the medical staff at Sharp Memorial Hospital, but, the medical world as well.

Dr. Kevin Shaw
Kevin went on to become a medical doctor and is now a practicing ‎Pulmonologist, (a respiratory and critical care specialist.

While on duty at Sharp’s ER on Kearny Mesa recently Kevin deemed it necessary to perform an operation seldom (if ever) performed in an emergency room.  With time working against him, he opted to save his patient’s life with a complicated procedure that was not normally performed in the ER.

It was not the way a lung bypass is supposed to happen. Reportedly, for as long as this ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Procedure), has been employed, no doctor had ever endeavored to use it outside of the operating room without a complete team of attending surgeons and anesthesiologists, including a cardiac doctor. 

But, Dr. Shaw quickly realized that if he waited to go by the book, he most likely would have lost his patient.  His career was not the priority.  His patient was.

Bravely, Dr. Shaw, who was assisted in the ER by Dr. Andrew Eads, accepted the challenge and in the end saved the life of patient Conrad Soriano, 27, who otherwise would have died from a life-threatening peanut allergy.

San Diego’s Channel 8 CBS affiliate reported: “It was a last-ditch effort by doctors to save the life of man suffering from a severe allergic reaction to peanuts. Doctors used a procedure, usually done in an operating room, but never tried, in an emergency situation. A patient at Sharp Memorial Hospital had his lungs so inflamed from a severe peanut allergy he could no longer breathe. His patient is alive today because of the quick action taken by doctors Kevin Shaw and Andrew Eads. The doctors placed a large catheter in his neck to try and save his life. Dr. Shaw used an ECMO machine to filter Soriano's blood and bypass it around his lungs. It’s a procedure mostly done on cardiac surgery patients in an operating room.”

"It was the greatest feeling that I can remember in a very long time. Knowing we had all worked together to save this young man's life; get him out of the hospital and back with his family," said Dr. Shaw.

Afterwards, Mr. Soriano praised his lifesaving doctors.  "Thank you very much. I would not be here without you."
Because of the success of this remarkable event, Sharp leadership is planning a series of seminars soon to teach other doctors from around the world how to perform the same procedure that Kevin and Andrew did in the ER.

Here are two links which present this episode to viewers:
1)     The first was post by CBS Channel 8 on August 24, 2016 the title:
 “Lifesaving Idea: Never tried it before, and it worked.
This was the actual scene videoed while Kevin was operating.
2)     The second was a reenactment presented on the Learning Channel.

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