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Fear, Flow Measurement and Falling Off a Shelf

By Daniel Foster13 Mar 2024

What do flow measurement, Porsches, pediatric congenital heart defect repair and my little brother have in common? 


​​I nearly drowned in Australia, surrounded by stingrays. Dragged myself out of the surf on my hands and knees with my last bit of strength. 

I fell off a fifteen-foot-high shelf and landed on bags of concrete. A 6’ steel bracket arm followed me down and skewered the concrete bag I’d landed on, a fraction of a second after I rolled away. 

I lost control of a turbocharged Porsche at a speed we aren’t going to discuss. It upset the nearby cows when I flew through their fence sideways. (Why be a smart teenager when you can be a stupid one?)

I thought those things were frightening until I watched my baby brother, in his basinet, turn white, become glassy-eyed, and start seizing. He was so small. His hand looked like a doll’s hand in my palm. He was too little to even ask for help, not that I would have known what to do. He was less than a year old. 

But I was terrified, kneeling on the kitchen floor beside him.

Had you been there, you might have recognized that my little brother was having a severe reaction to the pertussis vaccine. I certainly didn’t. In fact, I might speculate that the opposite side of my fear—the desire to save and protect children—may be much of the reason you became a pediatric surgeon. 

While you’re performing congenital heart defect repair surgeries, I’m now writing pieces like this one. Fortunately, stingrays are rare in central New York, Transonic doesn’t let me climb on shelving, and I drive a 12 year old Acura. 

Speaking of 12 year olds, I and my brother (who is alive and well) recommend Transonic’s equipment for those defect repair surgeries of yours. Why those in particular? Well… because that’s what this blog is about. (Our system can actually provide flow verification, legal backing, and financial savings on just about any heart surgery you can name.) 

Transit Time Ultrasound Flow Measurements

Transit time ultrasound flow measurements (TTFM) are quick, easy to use, and return precise flow values while leaving an artery in its native state. From a practical angle, TTFM allows you, the surgeon, to confirm that the flow you have augmented, redirected, or restored is actually returning the volume your patient needs. You can print that information as legal backup, but most importantly, TTFM gives you the opportunity to correct any unseen issues while the child is still on the table. 

Even from a purely financial perspective, our calculations have shown that our device usually pays for itself with the first OR bring-back that it prevents. But the money is nothing compared to the forewarning it gives you about your tiny patients. 

And that’s important because we don’t even want to think about where those little patients would be without you.

Thank you a thousand times over for what you do. 

And thanks for reading. 

Learn More About Optimizing Pediatric Congenital Heart Defect Repair