The Cutting Edge
Production Number: 57044
Original Air Date: May 11, 1983
Detailed Synopsis: When Kenny Kelso heads to work after the birth of his daughter, a group of colleagues at the pipe yard are anxious to celebrate his return. however, when some heavy machinery, injures both him and Jane Doe, he is forced to come to terms with a lifetime disability -- the loss of his right arm. It's up to Dr. McCracken, and his cutting edge team at assignment Hope to help restore what Kelso may now have lost.
When the morning shift starts, the head foreman of the pipe yard has one of the workers use a Champ forklift to move a series of stacked 55 gallon steel oil drums from one end of the yard to the other. Unfortunately, the driver backs into a high-rise of metal pipe, which under the stress of the vibration knocks over causing the death of one of the workers in the near fatality of Kenny Kelso.
When Quincy and Eddie arrived, they offer their assistance until emergency squads arrive on scene. Because of Quincy's medical knowledge, he has Eddie collect the amputated arm and keep it cold and packed in ice until medics can assess the degree of damage an attempt to reattach the limb. it, there is any chance reattachment, when she explains it must be cooled down to slow tissue death.
As paramedics examine Kelso's vitals (BP 90/50 pulse 130), they determine to take to Las Manos which operates Experiment Hope the purposes of finding solutions to some of the hopeless cases.
McCracken is director of experiment hope and checks in with Anne, his secretary, who reports that Dr. Peterson from the robotics lab is looking for him, that Dr. Ted Wickett is inquiring about a burn patient, and that Mr. Peter Muscanni, Hospital administrator has contacted inquiring as to why he did not attend the staff breakfast that morning.
Upon arriving at his office, he discovers that his son, Jay is hoping his father will overlook his late arrival to dinner the other night since he doesn't want to see his mom cry all the time at home.
When Kenny arrives at Las Manos Medical Center, he is semi-conscious and nurses are to reassure him that he is under their care. A request for x-rays and the central venous line are made of Nurse Jane by Dr. Jacobs. nurse Jill removes the bandages on Kenny's arm is Dr. McCracken has a look for himself.
Just then Kenny's wife, Judy, and her close friend arrive at the hospital. McCracken and Wickett reassure Kenny's wife that he is not going to die and that he is fully conscious while they checked him over. Next, McCracken and Wickett consult and it appears to be Wickett's view that because the "nerves and tendons have been avulsed," the patient would be best served by an amputation and prosthetic device. Gabe refuses to accept that as Director of the program and tells Ted Wickett to perform the surgery to give the patient as much of a chance as possible for a full recovery.
At that point, McCracken states that upon putting this team together he wants to see this young man get the best chance at walking out of the hospital with two functioning arms.
While Wickett performs the reattachment surgery, McCracken watches from the observation room when Quince and Hanover walk in to introduce themselves.
Quincy and Hanover meet with Dr. McCracken. McCracken thinks Quincy for needed to provide the materials needed to make the reattachment a success. The bones, tendons and veins have already been connected. Dr. Wickett is suturing the ulnar artery once that's completed, the flow of blood to be returned to the arm.
McCracken's original patient With computer manufacturer and visionary Patterson Kighter. As a billionaire's case was helped out using these advanced techniques, he Start to put together a grant to fund researchers that would help McCracken, assemble a group of highly trained medical staff, all under one roof to take on some of the most dire cases.
Richard and Wendy Peterson play a little bit of cat and mouse in the lab as Lab tech Richard wants asks Peterson out on a date but gets a turned down.
Dr. Peterson is a biomedical engineer conducting experimentation with robotics and is set to do a taped interview with Channel 6 until Hospital administrator Peter "the weasel" Muscanni finds out about it. all jokes aside, Wendy and Gabe indicate that Muscanni has a major issue with folks at following administrative rules already previously established by the hospital. Hanover gets a chance to inquire about the emotional impact. The style of victims are faced with in McCracken indicates that he is presently looking for a full-time staff psychologist to bring on board. In McCracken excuses himself Wednesday in Hanover discuss the possibility of how this could be a great opportunity for Emily to get involved with something which could have a tremendous impact on the lives of so many traumatized by injury or loss.
Unfortunately McCracken is called back to the emergency room because Kenny is suffering from a subdural hematoma which threw him into respiratory arrest -- probably exacerbated by the anticoagulants that were used during the reattachment operation on his arm. upon conferring with wicket, both doctors are convinced that there must've been some head trauma without fractures to have caused the hematoma in the first place.
While Kenny starts to recover, Doctors McCracken and Wickett return to determine if the operation has been successful. Upon asking him to move and wiggle his fingers, it would appear that the nerves are beginning to regenerate if the final results will not be determined for another week. Upon entering the outside corridor, which indicates that McCracken should not be giving false hope to a patient who may not have honored for simple recovery of his limbs. However, McCracken is not willing to believe that the patient will not able to gain full recovery.
When doctors and nurses begin to help Kelso get out of bed is then discovered that the patient's other arm seems to have some nerve damage which is preventing him from sending appropriate nerve impulses to raise and extend his right arm fully.
Thinking quickly, McCracken approaches Dr. Peterson asking her to create some sort of prosthetic sensor that might be able to help Kenny send the proper nerve impulses to raise or extend the damaged limb.
Once the results of third surgery to implant the sensor have taken place, it's a slow and steady recovery in the to be able to work both arms before he is discharged from his wife and daughter from the hospital.
Quincy and McKracken reflect on the dignity of the human spirit and its remarkable ability to help heal the real wounds of the body and the series and this episode closes to the final credits.
Related Los Angeles County Coroner's Notes
PRODUCTION AWARENESS: This was the Quincy M.E. series finale episode and was intended as a proposed pilot episode for a spin-off about Experiment Hope, focused on Dr. Emily Hanover and Dr. Gabriel McCracken, but failed. However, the series, entitled The Cutting Edge, was never picked up. If you have a copy of the script from which this episode was based, consider emailing us so that additional spinoff details can be added to this series episode description.
Cast: Jack Klugman...Dr. R. Quincy, M.E. (rest of cast listed alphabetically:, Jennifer Andrews...Anne - Dr. McCracken's assistant, Val Bisoglio...Danny Tovo (credit only), Amick Byram...Richard, Chevi Colton...Nurse, Bob Delegall...Jay,Paul Rudd.. ...Dr. Ted Wickett, Eddie Garrett...Ed - Crime Photographer, Anita Gillette...Dr. Emily Hanover, Robert Ito...Sam Fujiyama (credit only), Ronald G. Joseph...Paramedic #1 (as Ronald Joseph), Barry Newman...Dr. Gabe McCracken, Terrence O'Connor...Hillary Barron, Julie Phillips...Judy Kelso, John S. Ragin...Dr. Robert Asten (credit only), John Randolph...Peter Muscanni (Pete the Weasel), Joseph Roman...Sgt. Brill (credit only), Allen Fawcett...Kenny Kelso, Garry Walberg...Lt. Frank Monahan (credit only), Mary Louise Weller...Dr. Wendy Peterson
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