Tuesday, March 28, 2006

View from the Top

This is what the world looks like from the top of Taipei 101. Those little things that look like grains of rice? Those are cars. Ulp. Posted by Picasa

The World's Tallest Building

This is Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world. It is over 1,600 feet tall. I went to the top floor. Yikes. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

In the Presence of Greatness

Dr. Jeng Wei is the director of the Heart Center at Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei. He has performed history-making cardiac surgeries and is considered by his peers in the international CV surgery community to be one of the best, if not the best, cardiovascular surgeon in the world. I had the honor of observing Dr. Wei at work in the OR, and he demonstrated a technique for aortic valve replacement in Asians that he pioneered.

He explains:

"Asians are physically smaller, and so their heart structure is also smaller. When an Asian patient requires a valve replacement, a problem exists where the bore of the patient's aortic valve does not accomodate the sizes of artificial replacement valves available from the United States. So I have to find a way to install the new valve so that the smaller heart can accomodate it. So I devised a technique by which I suture the new valve into the aortic valve space half from the inside, and half from the outside. This way, I can hold the new valve snugly in place while at the same time compensating for the odd size."

More later. Posted by Picasa

Back after a month in Taiwan

I spent a month in Taiwan studying the performance cardiac nursing care in the ER, OR, and Critical Care Units at Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei. It was an incredible experience, and I will share the nursing aspects of the trip in following posts. In my off time I visited many of Taiwan's historical and cultural centers, such as the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial (above). I came home with a much better sense of East Asian culture, and a deep respect for the Taiwanese, who live under the constant threat of invasion from Communist China. These are a beautiful people. Posted by Picasa