New Book Reveals What Happens in the Operating Room When Patients Are Unconscious

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ron Whitchurch spent 50 years safely putting people to sleep, watching over them as they dozed through operations both planned and unplanned. In his new book, 50 Years in the OR: True Stories of Life, Loss, and Laughter While Giving Anesthesia (Loon Lake Press), he takes readers along for some of his most memorable cases. These incidents stood out in a long career in which he enjoyed every minute of this life-and-death job.

He writes about his first post in a rural area near an Indian reservation, “We got almost every kind of emergency and trauma imaginable, from shootings, stabbings, beatings, and car wrecks to appendicitis, ectopic pregnancies, bowel obstructions, fish hooks in various body parts, and fractures. And, during deer hunting season in November, all the big-city hunters would converge on our north woods and fill the emergency room regularly with some of the most bizarre injuries imaginable.”

Whitchurch worked in both rural and city environments before retiring two years ago. He points out that more than one-half of all the anesthetics administered in the U.S. are provided by certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) like himself, yet most people are unaware of this profession. For example, in an article about his mother written for a church bulletin, the writer mistakenly described him as an atheist instead of an anesthetist.

In an interview, he can discuss:

  • What CRNAs do and why they are the unsung heroes of the OR
  • What patients need to know about anesthesia
  • The incident that frightened him most and what led up to it
  • The clever game he played to allay children’s fears and why he had to stop using it
  • The patient with the funniest tattoo on her bottom
  • The strange case of the lady with multiple personalities

Praise for 50 Years in the OR

“I loved reading this wonderful collection of triumphs, tragedies, near misses, and so many funny situations in the OR. Ron is an anesthesia historian, a keen observer of the quirks and ironies of life in surgery and a colorful storyteller. A fascinating and clearly explained glimpse at the world on the other side of the drapes.” Antonio J. Gayoso, M.D., ASPS, ASAPS

“Ron Whitchurch has the observation, wit and insight of a modern-day Mark Twain and the eyebrows and mustache to match.” — Koco Eaton, M.D., ABOS, team physician, Tampa Bay Rays 

“These are amazing, authentic memories of as broad a scope of cases as one could imagine, stories that could not have been made up and told with insight, transparency and an indomitable sense of humor. Such a rich experience is a must-read for anyone who has had or is interested in anesthesia.”Sondra Shields, M.D., Mayo Clinic-trained, board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management

About the Author
Ron Whitchurch was raised in Minneapolis, Minn., where a part-time job as an orderly in a large hospital convinced him that healthcare was his calling. He earned his R.N. from Abbott Hospital before graduating from the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia’s nurse anesthesia program. He became a CRNA in 1971. For the next 16 years, he worked in a 100-bed hospital in Bemidji, Minn., sharing the caseload with another CRNA and two part-timers. After moving to Tampa in 1987, he worked in a large group of CRNAs and anesthesiologists. He and his wife were the founders of Lonni’s Sandwiches, Etc., in St. Petersburg.

Contact: Ron Whitchurch at (727) 221-3570;

SOURCE Ron Whitchurch