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The Art of Medicine at the 21st Century

In an operating room, the pediatric thoracic surgeon is reimplanting coronary arteries to establish a normal blood flow in a newborn. A resident and medical are assisting the surgeon.

'Not One Millimeter Off'
(ink drawing with tempera, 22' x 29.5')
©May H. Lesser


The pediatric thoracic surgeon is reimplanting coronary arteries to establish a normal blood flow in a newborn. He cautions his resident that one millimeter off can cause lifetime damage. The baby is on a blood pump for 45 minutes. The intravenous drip is nitroprusside. 105 micrograms per kilogram per minute of dopamine. Ampicillin is the chosen antibiotic. An instrument monitors the circulation. "If there is too much, it makes the heart work harder than it has to work. What we want to do is to try to make the heart before, during and after the operation, work as little as it has to, to do exactly what it needs to do." I question the size of the instruments; they look so bulky compared to the small and delicate baby. "The handles can be somewhat bigger but the tips are somewhat smaller, absolutely special instruments for babies."

During the procedure, the professor quizzes the resident and medical student on the cardiopulmonary anatomy.