From the Plain Dealer:
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland granted a temporary reprieve yesterday to convicted killer Romell Broom because the death squad team, I mean lethal injection crew, were unable to find suitable venous access for the infusion of the lethal cocktail. According to reports, the team spent two hours jabbing and sticking him to no avail. They even tried the doomed to failure approach of "let's try to get one of those scraggly veins in his foot".
Now I don't mean to turn this into a defense or repudiation of the death penalty. (I happen to be opposed to it, FWIW). But it is legal in Ohio. I can't do anything about that fact. If it has to be done according to the dictates of the law, then is it asking too much for the state to be prepared for any and all contingencies? You mean, no one from the crew noticed weeks in advance that the guy had no veins? Were they all seeing him for the first time that day?
General surgeons are often asked to assist in difficult venous access cases. We hate it, though. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. Putting in a temporary central line is one of those annoying, poorly remunerated, time wasting duties that occasionally falls upon us. Thank God for PICC lines.
My question for the state of Ohio is: Why weren't we prepared for the possibility that Broom might have unsuitable peripheral veins? Why was no one available to place a femoral or subclavian central line? What's the plan now? To refer him to some unsuspecting general surgeon for placement of a Mediport or a Hickman catheter? Or maybe just bust out the rusty electric chair, replete with leather cap and straps, sponge stick bite blocks etc.....