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Hospital (Series)


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Real Cases as they Happen

Hospital takes place in the fast-paced world of Duke University Medical Center - named year after year as one of the best hospitals in America. Read Full Synopsis...

Hospital (2000)
Executive Producer:
Bill Hayes

"Everyone we've met in your organization has been so professional and caring. It's been a privilege to meet you all and be a part of this project."

-- Chuck and Linda Pritchard
Patient and wife featured in Hospital


Life in a world-class medical center like the one at Duke University is certainly worth documenting. In the summer of 2000 we did just that. We stayed up all night and worked through weekends. We followed countless doctors and nurses and their patients in and out of Emergency Rooms, Operating Rooms and Intensive Care Units. We met many people facing life's most difficult moments. What we found was humanity at it's best.

Hospital is a 13-hour series Advanced Medical Productions produced for the Discovery Channel. It takes place in the 24/7 world of Duke University Medical Center - named year after year as one of the best hospitals in America. The series captures real cases, as they happen, throughout the hospital. While we learn a lot about medicine, we learn even more about the human spirit and how people come together in trying times.


Episode 1: Offered Prayers
Originally aired September 28, 2000
Full Credits

Russell Patterson, a man with tremendous faith, has been told by doctors in Birmingham, Alabama he has less than two years to live due to a malignant brain tumor. Having already undergone one operation in Alabama, the tumor continues to grow. Dr. Henry Friedman who runs the Brain Tumor Center at Duke (the largest program of its kind in America) tells Russell there is hope. Neurosurgeon, Dr. Allan Friedman (no relation), called the "Michael Jordan" of neurosurgery, operates on Russell while Russell is awake - removing most of the tumor and leaving chemotherapy wafers in its place to keep the cancer at bay.

Delbert Yates (well in his 80s) has a ticking time bomb in his abdomen - an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He is quickly taken from the ER into surgery where surgeon John Gray attempts to save his life.

Duke's air ambulance, Life Flight, brings in 20 year old Cedric Thompson who has severe liver lacerations due to an automobile accident. He was not wearing his seat belt. Trauma surgeon, Dr. Greg Georgiade, hopes to keep him out of surgery and sends him to the SICU or surgical intensive care unit.

Rebecca Murray comes to Duke with a problem pregnancy. Her unborn baby has the same heart condition she had - a septum defect or a hole in her heart. Both mother and child are at risk and doctors struggle to help Rebecca hold on to the baby as long as possible, knowing once the baby is born, heart surgery will be necessary.



Episode 2: Heart and Soul
Originally Aired on October 5, 2000
Full Credits

Klay Shrum, a 17-year-old musician, must make a very big decision after a devastating car wreck leaves him with a crushed hand. His options are multiple surgeries, a lot of pain and a hand that will never fully work or amputation and an eventual prosthesis.

Rebecca and John Murray's five-day-old daughter, Helen Grace, (who was born prematurely) undergoes open-heart surgery to repair a hole in the middle of her heart. The surgeon, Dr. Jim Jaggers, operated on mom's heart for the same problem four years ago.

EMS (Emergency Medical Service) picks up stabbing victim, Antonio Eggleton, and delivers him to the Duke ER. Antonio ends up in the OR where trauma surgeon, Dr. Greg Georgiade, supervises a detailed abdominal surgery. Antonio lives.

The always cheery (even in the face of adversity) Helen "Pearlie" Carroll wrecks her car and also ends up in the ER with a broken vertebrae. She would be dead if she hadn't worn her seatbelt. Dr. William Hardaker repairs her spine in the OR.

Sandy Mertz arrives in the ER unconscious. Fortunately, the Chief of the Emergency Department, Dr. Kathy Clem, discovers Sandy's problem is a very nasty migraine headache.


Episode 3: Face of Courage
Originally Aired on October 12, 2000
Full Credits

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Scott Levin, is a master of reattaching limbs and correcting deformities. He takes on the most difficult cases and is often the final hope for many patients. Chuck Pritchard's face was crushed at work. Dr. Levin and his colleagues take a flap of skin from Mr. Pritchard's side and rebuild his damaged, infected face.

Doctors think Daniel Dillon has an abdominal cyst. Pediatric surgeon, Dr. Mike Skinner performs exploratory surgery and with the help of urologist, Dr. John Wiener, discovers the problem is not a cyst, but rather one of Daniel’s kidneys that never fully formed.

A Life Flight Crew is dispatched to a car crash scene where they pick up a victim who is near death. The crew flies to the nearest hospital in order to help the victim breathe before travelling on to the Duke ER.

Russell Patterson, the brain tumor patient from episode one, returns to Duke to see Dr. Henry Friedman and Dr. Allan Friedman.

Little Arya Bracey has swallowed some pills by mistake. Dr. Karen Frush, a nationally known Pediatric ER specialist and her skillful team help Arya eat liquid charcoal to counteract any potential poison.


Episode 4: In the Eye of the Storm
Originally Aired on October 19, 2000
Full Credits

Emily Pickens, a charming, young woman is suffering from a spinal tumor and a build-up of spinal fluid. Emily Pickens undergoes surgery to place a shunt in her head to drain the fluid building up around her brain. Dr. Allan Friedman, the same surgeon who removed the tumor from Russell Patterson's brain in episode one, performs the delicate procedure.

Bob Conroy enters the ER after being hit in the eye with a golf ball. He must undergo surgery by opthamologist, Dr. Eric Postel, in hopes of saving the sight in his eye.

Anthony and Kristi Peaks arrive in separate ambulances after being gunned down at a convenience store. Kristi is just grazed by a bullet. Anthony is not so fortunate.

Episode 5: Now and Forever
Originally Aired on October 26, 2000
Full Credits

Emily Pickens returns to Duke to determine if the combination shunt and chemotherapy delivery device Dr. Allan Friedman placed in her brain in episode 4 is working. Emily is still having headaches and unable to walk and hopes the doctors can devise a better plan.

Judy Sterling has breast cancer and because of her family history of cancer, she has decided to have plastic surgeon, Dr. Greg Georgiade remove her cancerous breast. With some help from radioactive dyes and a Geiger counter, Dr. Georgiade is able to check the lymph nodes and remove Judy's breast.

John Inman comes into the ER with multiple gunshot wounds. Three teams of doctors restore blood flow and begin repairing his legs. In his second surgery, early one Sunday morning, Dr. Levin grafts pig skin to his thigh. Now John is in physical therapy.

Russell Patterson, the brain tumor patient we met in episodes one and three, is flown to Duke for emergency treatment.


Episode 6: Under Construction
Originally aired November 2, 2000
Full Credits

Cleft lip and palate comprise the fourth most common birth defect in the United States. One of every 700 newborns is affected by cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Fortunately, skilled plastic surgeons like Greg Georgiade are helping correct these defects and giving babies a more normal life in the process. We witness one such dramatic transformation as Dr. Georgiade closes the huge gap in baby Mackenzie Stancil's lip.

Jessica Christopher suffers from scoliosis or an abnormal curve in her spine. She has extreme back pain and has lost 2 inches of height because her spine is collapsing. Orthopedic surgeon, Lloyd Hey, performs the delicate procedure that will straighten her spine to a more natural position.

One of parents' worse fears is their bike riding child will be hit by a car. Young Anthony's parents' fear came true and now it's up to the Duke ER team to assess the damage. Fortunately, Anthony was wearing his helmet, which ER Chief, Dr. Kathleen Clem, credits with saving his life.

Falling off a roof is another common fear. Terry Howes didn't fall, he jumped, but the result was just as bad. After his ladder fell and he was faced with the prospect of spending the afternoon on the roof, he jumped the 15 feet to the ground and now regrets the decision. His open tib-fib fracture will require several surgeries to correct his leg. Only time will tell the extent of the damage.


Episode 7: From Beginning to End
Originally Aired on November 9, 2000
Full Credits

Some of the most stunning sights in modern medicine take place daily in the Duke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The babies with paper-thin skin can weigh less than a pound and are never very far from possible death. We witness the trials and tribulations of caring for incredibly fragile premature infants through the eyes of Nurse Practitioner Kitty Boland.

Lovable 92-year old Martha Wilson arrives at the Duke ER with signs of cardiac distress. Martha feels fine after her initial exam but doctors decide it would be a good idea to have Martha take a cardiac stress test. The test reveals dangerous blockage in one of her arteries and Martha undergoes a cardiac catherization and angioplasty.

Brantley Locklear arrives at the Duke ER via a Life Flight helicopter after crashing a motorcycle at 80 mph without his helmet. Brantley is stabilized but must endure extensive facial surgery to repair the gaping hole in his jaw.

Emily Pickens (who we meet in Episodes 4 and 5) returns for a MRI and consults with Neurosurgeon Allan Friedman and NeuroOncologist Henry Friedman. We find out if Emily's spinal tumor is growing.



Episode 8: Small Miracles
Originally Aired on November 16, 2000
Full Credits

Reattaching a severed limb or fingers is one of the amazing miracles of modern medicine. Reconstructive Surgeon Scott Levin performs these miracles almost weekly. Jerromye Richardson cut off part of four of his fingers in a work-related accident and has come to Duke hoping Dr. Levin will once again be successful in restoring the use of lost fingers.

If our doctors could only feel what it's like to be a patient. Surgical Resident Kelly Brooks develops more empathy for her future patients as she swaps roles and becomes a patient herself as a result of an emergency appendectomy.

We return to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and follow Sophie Sapienza, another patient of Nurse Practitioner, Kitty Boland. Sophie was born at 26 weeks (approx. 3 months premature). Like many premature babies, Sophie must undergo surgery before leaving the hospital.

After being hit by a car, Barbara Garrett is rushed to the Duke ER. Already in a cast due to a bone spur in her foot, Barbara escapes the accident with only minor injuries.



Episode 9: ER to OR
Originally Aired on November 23, 2000
Full Credits

Chuck Prichard (featured in Episode 3) returns to Duke for cosmetic surgery on his face following a construction site accident. Reconstructive Surgeon Scott Levin continues his masterful work to restore Chuck's face.

Debra Parrish is run over by her own car. This happens when the car is accidentally left in "drive." Her legs are severely bruised but not broken. She is sent to surgery to release the pressure of the blood inside her legs.

Charlotte Davis and her five-year old daughter, Empresse, are involved in a car accident that leads them to the Duke ER. Charlotte goes to surgery due to a knee injury; her daughter walks away with a few stitches.

For millions of near sighted Americans, LASIK eye surgery has become a wondrous option for correcting their vision. Even sports stars like Tiger Woods who depend mightily on their vision have successfully undergone this treatment. Chris Carrawell, a former All American basketball player at Duke University, undergoes LASIK eye surgery with Dr. Terry Kim, a cornea specialist. This 14-minute procedure may allow him to see better than 20/20 before he heads off to the NBA.


Episode 10: Breath of Fresh Air
Originally Aired on November 30, 2000
Full Credits

Betty "BeeGee" Allen has a life threatening condition called Pulmonary Avolar Proteinosis. The build up of protein in her lungs will kill her if it's not removed. BeeGee is taken to the Duke Hyperbaric Medicine Chamber (a place deep in the hospital that looks like something out of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). BeeGee will have a lung lavage to clean out her lungs. Pulmonary specialist, Dr. Claude Piantadosi, and his team will flush BeeGee's lungs with a saline solution while a physical therapist pounds on her side, literally beating the protein out of her lungs.

Jose Alvarez has injured his arm so badly that his hand must be amputated. He does not speak English and depends upon the interpreter, Anita LaPlaca, to help him understand his options.

Michelle Abdul Aziz has rheumatoid arthritis and can not walk without tremendous pain. She had both of her knees replaced and now must have both of her hips replaced. Orthopedic Surgeon, Thomas Vail, the same surgeon who replaced Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski's hip, performs the operation.


Episode 11: The Future Waits
Originally Aired on December 6, 2000
Full Credits

Steve Glass's pacemaker helps keep him alive. But some "grunge" on the device is now compromising his safety. Heart surgeon Jim Lowe and Cardiologist Robert Sorrentino begin the procedure to replace his pacemaker that is completed in episode 12 of Hospital.

After her double hip replacement, Michele Abdul Aziz is transferred to Durham Regional Hospital for rehabilitation. Her rehab includes learning to walk again and standing to bake a cake.

Transplant surgeons Betsy Tuttle-Newhall and Brad Collins perform a variety of transplants - livers, kidneys, pancreases. Their assignment today is a liver transplant for Eddie Clark.

David Pennebaker has decided to do some self-adjusting on the screws in his neck brace. It's a bad idea and fortunately the doctors in the ER are there to help straighten him out.



Episode 12: A Whole New Life
Originally Aired on December 13, 2000
Full Credits

Kenny Parker has already undergone a heart transplant and now his lung has a spot that must be resected. Dr. Tom D'Amico uses a laparoscope to restore Kenny's lungs to good health.

Dr. Robert Sorrentino replaces Steve Glass's pacemaker.

Jose Alvarez, who lost his hand in an accident at work, returns to the Duke Prosthetic Department for a myoelectric hand.

Mabel Dula ends up in the Duke ER after a car crash. Emergency Department Chief Kathy Clem and trauma surgeon, Greg Georgiade attend to her multiple injuries.

Dr. Clem makes a special trip to see Dr. Ralph Snyderman, the Chancellor of Duke University Medical Center to discuss the future of Emergency Medicine at Duke.

Episode 13: A New Beginning
Originally Aired on December 20, 2000
Full Credits

Dr. William Hall has a tragic eye injury. A team of doctors at the Duke Eye Center (one of the leading eye centers in the country) tries to restore his vision.

Tommy Thompson's kidney is failing. Fortunately his wife Laney is willing to undergo surgery and give him one of hers. In order to minimize Laney's pain, Dr. Steve Eubanks will use a laparoscope and smaller than normal incisions to harvest her kidney.

Sophie Sapienza was born at 24 weeks and has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Duke for almost four months. She has already undergone three major surgeries. Now her mother, Laura, needs fibroid surgery. Hopefully both will be heading home soon.





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