Cadet Blog: 2/C Gabriella Struss (IMB - North Attleboro, MA) 1-25-23 Dr. Cukor Teaches Cadets To Suture


We saved the bananas! It was a touch and go situations at times, but my team of sixteen cadets worked valiantly to save the lives of sixteen pieces of fruit! I still cannot stop laughing.  Tonight was one of the most fun evening activities I have participated in on the TS Kennedy. Thank you to Dr. Cukor and his team for teaching us the valuable skills of suturing.

trays of oranges, apples, and bananas

Steps of how we learned to suture:
1) We used sterile tools to make sure that the wounds in our bananas were clean.
2) We used a syringe with lidocaine to numb the pain the bananas felt. 
3) We learned how to clamp the needle.
4) We held it at a 90 degree angle
5) We did a specific wrist motion that looked like we were scooping ice cream with the ice cream scoop.
6) We unclamped one side of the needle and clamped the other side to be able to pull the needle through.
7) We pulled the needle through and left a very little amount left.
8) We used the inside of the scissors, did two loops and grabbed the little part we had left open.
9) We pulled through.
10 We repeated steps eight and nine four times.
That will make one simple interrupted suture.  You will do that until the banana wound is closed completely. If you want to try this, please do it with supervision.  

Check out this video clip showing how to do the simple interrupted suture.

Are you VERY interested in the process?  Here is a narrated 4-minute video showing this technique.   

This is a tool that cadets and seafarers will use when they are hurt to make sure that they get better.

The other methods we learned tonight are using steri- strips which looks like tape. 

leg with steri strips
package of steri strips

A tip about the steri-strips do not put them all the way around the circumference because you do not want to pull too tight and cut off your circulation.
We also learned about using a staple gun.  This is not a normal stapler that you will find in the classroom, but a special one which is safe for the bananas and humans that it is used on. 
Each and every banana was saved tonight because the cadets involved worked diligently and learned about keeping everyone safe. These practical lessons are ones that I will remember and will hopefully be invaluable when a shipmate gets hurt.
Hold Fast,

What a wonderful surprise to get an extra blog from you!  Thanks for thinking of your many student followers when you were learning this important new skill.

I am sure that many of our followers will recall your blog the next time they are eating a banana.  It may inspire some student to try suturing under the close supervision of an adult.  Of course, we'd love to have you share photos with us.

We love your enthusiasm to soak up all of the learning that you can during Sea Term.  Keep the blogs coming!  You rock, Gabi!