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June 4th, 2009
06:52 AM ET

Inside Dr. Gupta's Other World

(Note you can watch part 2 of Dr. Gupta's "Inside the Operating Room" Friday on our show. Until then...here are some great behind-the-scenes details from part 1.)

Danielle Dellorto
CNN Medical Producer

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I waited outside the employee parking lot of Grady Memorial Hospital Monday morning. My assignment for the day? Produce a story on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s life outside of CNN – his life as a trauma neurosurgeon. For the past three years I’ve been producing stories for him – but this time HE was my story.

He greeted our crew a little before 5 a.m. with a familiar smile and diet soda in hand. Wasting no time with chit chat, he scurried into the hospital, quickly changed into scrubs, then was off to his “home away from home,” O.R. 14. He had three cases scheduled by the time we arrived – a brain surgery and two spinal fusions.

First up – clipping a ruptured brain aneurysm. Watch the video from inside his operating room by clicking here.

My heart raced as I stood on pins and needles watching a critical part of the operation, during which the patient had an interoperative brain bleed. As Sanjay says, “I always like to tell people we spend 99% of our preparation on the 1% of things that happen.” Sanjay’s team didn’t flinch. They knew she’d be losing a liter of blood in just seconds and to prevent disaster, they raced to stop the bleed. Mission accomplished. It was a scary 90 seconds for a bystander like me watching it all go down, so what really struck me was how calm and focused his team was the entire time.

“When you have an aneurysm rupture like that and you are losing a liter of blood over several seconds, it makes any TV live shot you've ever done look not that scary. I know if I don’t get that thing stopped within a couple of minutes, the patient won’t survive,” he explained.

No doubt their neuro team is a well-oiled machine. It was especially fascinating to watch Dr. Gupta interact with his residents. “Many of my residents have never done cases like this so I get to show them for the first time how to do these procedures, which is pretty interesting for me and for them,” Sanjay said. Between critical moments in the O.R, they chatted like comrades. Everything from rock concerts, to their love lives to real estate – joking around like old friends.

One thing that is “very important” during surgery: the music. I watched as they took turns flipping through the iPOD. Dr. Gupta gave me his ultimate playlist for brain surgery: open with Gipsy Kings or Rise by Eddie Vedder and close the surgery with Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Mr. Brightside. Solid picks, doc!

The morning flew by fast. By 10am, Dr. Gupta and his team had already saved one life. By 10pm, that tally was up to three. Overall, it was incredibly exciting to not only see a whole other side of Sanjay on the job, but also see inside the human brain!

Want to see more in the weeks to come? Follow Sanjay on twitter. He posts cool pics each week from the operating room!


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Roni Berkowitz

    President Obama's speech was yet another reminder of why I so enthusiastically voted for him and why, as my husband says, he is the right person for these times. His speech was eloquent, but equally important, it reflected a deep understanding of the issues and problems that continue to make the Middle East and South Asia such problematic areas for the western world. As a Jew who strongly supports the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, I appreciated his reminding the Muslim world as well as as the rest of the world that Israel arose from the ashes of Nazi Germany and a long history of anti-Semitism. But I am happy that he then reminded the Israelis that the settlements are an obstacle to peace and that Palestinians are also an oppressed people.
    What a joy to hear a president quote the Koran to remind Muslims of their rich, peaceful history! And how good it was to hear to him promote the right for women to have an education and human rights.
    Obama gets it!!! For the first time is 8 years I am proud to be an American!!!!

    June 4, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  2. Anthony

    Yes , The President will make GOOD thing's happen for all of us.

    June 4, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  3. Wilkens Reme

    This is really amazing! we, Americans, are so proud of this president. His message delivers strongly a new message to the Islam world. We are not the ennemies of descent islam,but those of are trying to persecute peaceful nations. Congratilations to the president, job well done! He does reinvent the image of the country.

    June 4, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  4. bert bernardo

    I think president Oboma is a god sent to the world . I loved his speech it will bring peace between muslims and all other religions . What a wonderful president gongratulations america for electing a great man god bless america god bless the world

    June 4, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  5. Madison

    I'm a student. Isn't President Obama doing the same thing President Bush did by indirectly telling others what they SHOULD do? I'm confused by Mr. Obama...is he the president of the United States or the World?

    June 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  6. jerome mark gossett

    Good Morning,Hiedi ! I hope you are feeling well. I empathise with your ceiliac situation. I have crohns disease. You certainly look lovely. Im becoming one of your fans. Later, Music Man.

    June 11, 2009 at 9:34 am |

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