Abby grabs Neela for rounds. "Thank you for joining us," drawls a sassy woman who introduces herself as Dr. Raab. She's the NICU Attending, and she lays out the rules: scrub for three minutes before entering; no jewelry allowed; cut your fingernails; etc. Except that they're all already inside, haven't scrubbed for three minutes, and are wearing rings. Yes, those rules are as iron-clad as a peanut-butter sandwich. Dr. Raab then explains that, in 1993, two babies were abducted from the NICU. "That explains the LoJacks around their little ankles," cracks Matt. Raab explains that the NICU requires a code to open the doors -- a code they aren't allowed to reveal to anyone. "I tattooed mine on my scrotum," Matt deadpans, grinning broadly. "No one will ever see it there." Certainly not if he keeps wearing that stellar combination of pink shirt and blue tie. I for one wouldn't tap the ass of a guy dressed like a roll of SweetTarts. Although, come to think of it, my sister really likes SweetTarts.... Raab scolds Matt for his incessant stand-up routine, pointing out that the NICU is a tough room. She apparently doesn't think dying babies are a laugh riot. What is her problem? There is NOTHING funnier than a life snuffed out in its early days. For a second I thought I was watching Scrubs.
Now for rounds: a fellow student named Kate introduces thirty-eight-week-old Lloyd, who has TTN; Abby whispers to Neela that she doesn't know what that is, so Neela not only rattles off the answer but lists the potential problems. Raab hears this and is impressed. As Kate continues presenting, Abby wonders aloud why they're not attempting to speak quietly in the midst of other parents. Raab replies that there's no such thing as confidentiality in the NICU: "The quieter we talk, the harder they listen." Then a sour-faced older blonde nurse nudges in and asks Kate if she's named Lloyd yet. Raab introduces the woman as Virgie, whose ridiculous moniker might explain why she's so obsessed about re-christening people. She scrawls "THOR" onto a piece of tape and slaps it onto Lloyd's incubator. Raab says they like to give all the babies tough-sounding names: "Hard to fight with a name like Lloyd." Lloyd twitches, as if to say, "Fuck THIS noise -- either name is going to get me beaten up in school, so I'm screwed from the start."
A nurse named Tom calls them over to baby Jacob, whose acidosis is worse. "Who picked him up?" Raab asks. Silence. Tumbleweeds. "Lockhart, he's yours. Go examine your patient," Raab says. Abby explains that Cardiology confirmed that he has a narrowing of the aorta, meaning that blood can't get to the lower half of his body. "Why is that bad?" Raab prompts. "His legs...need blood," Abby duhs. "If you don't know, don't guess," crabs Raab. Hey, it sounded right to me. Abby scowls as Raab explains that it's a sign of acidosis. Basically, his plumbing's all fucked up, and he needs cardiac Drano. Abby says that surgery is backed up, but that they can take him in the next forty-eight hours. Raab snaps that Jacob can't wait any longer, so if the OR won't take him, the cath lab will. An affronted, admonished Abby explains to Jacob's nervous parents that the cath lab can open the blocked aorta with a stent. "Surgery will cure him?" Kyle twitters. "It should, yes," Dr. Raab says. Anyone want to make a wager? Nah, it's too easy. Vegas is giving 100-1 odds on Jake's survival -- nobody's taking that bet.