Location: Deck 8, main sickbay, USS Republic (Luna Class)
Humming within the aqua-irridescent sickbay, three uniformed medical technicians buzzed around the main ward, prepping it for incoming casualties. Two of the technicians with enlisted rank were a Megazoid and a Saurian. The third individual was a Rhaandarite officer with the rank of lieutenant junior-grade, and wore a nurse's smock with handheld diagnostic equipment clipped to the right front breast pocket. The technicians themselves were going from workbench to workbench along the wall, going through a checklist that ensured all needed equipment was at the ready in anticipation of any unforeseen medical situation. As they reached completion of their task, the intercom came to life.
“Cromwell to sickbay. Activate isolation field.”
With an electric strum, the spark of an activating forcefield pulsed in front of the diagnostic alcove situated towards the far end of sickbay. Much like the Intrepid-class design, the circular nook contained a single biobed with ample workroom and medical instrumentation, and with the medical isolated field activated, served as a quarantine bubble for any personnel within.
“Standby for transport,” the Rhaandarite nurse announced after tapping his combadge. The remaining two orderlies took their places by the controls at the nurse's station affixed to the wall next to the alcove.
Nodding his head towards the Saurian medtech, the lieutenant ordered, “Energize.”
Using the ship's closed-circuit medical transport, the doctor was beamed from the hermetically-sealed compartment onboard the shuttle to the diagnostic alcove in sickbay. In a radiant shimmer of incandescent light, Doctor Cromwell materialized standing next to the biobed in the diagnostic alcove, along with his reposeful, unconscious patient from the Fearless.
While the transporter bio-filters were in full operation, Leon knew that there was always a minuscule chance that a xenobiotic pathogen could work it's way onboard from the field. When he removed his gloves from his EVA suit in Fearless's engine room, he knew that in his rash moment, he ran the risk of contracting something that the transporters couldn't filter out. However, saving a patient's life was much more paramount at that moment, and therefore, in his mind the gamble was worth it. With bountiful caution, he returned to the shuttle and immediately placed himself and his patient on quarantine lockdown in the rear compartment for their return trip to Republic.
Ensuring that he and his patient remained isolated until the risk of potential contamination had passed, he called ahead and ordered the sickbay staff to maintain the quarantine upon his arrival. In the diagnostic alcove, Leon was already stripped of his EVA suit, removed during the shuttle trip, and revealed a sweat-stained blue medical jumpsuit as his primary attire.
“Lieutenant,” he beckoned to the attending Rhaandarite nurse outside the field. “There are thirty-two bodies of deceased Fearless crew members in the shuttle's transporter buffer. Please set up a class-three morgue in cargo bay two, and transfer the bodies there. Maintain bio-level four protocols until we complete the autopsies on each one, and determined the cause of death. Co-ordinate with ship security to make sure no one but medical personnel enter the cargo bay.”
Looking back down at his patient, he briefly glanced at the Pulaski-imaged Emergency Medical Hologram who stood idle next to a workbench, taking in the activity around her.
“Doctor,” gestured Leon. “If you please?”
Leon's demeanor indicated that he expected the EMH to assist him in within the isolation field. It was beyond her programming to react to much more than just “activate EMH,” but ever since Doctor Cromwell had ordered her to expand her programming and act as one of the crew, one of her major tasks was to learn when others needed her assistance without asking. She was still picking up on these subtle cues, Leon's prompting was appreciated.
With a whisper of photons, the EMH disappeared from the main ward, and reappeared on the other side of the isolation field, next to the biobed, across from Leon. For his part, the anxiety within him dropped, knowing that there was another medical technician who could work within the quarantine with him. The EMH, on the other hand, immediately began assessing the situation based on her programmed diagnostic subroutine.
“His electrolytes are thirty percent below metabolic minimums,” she remarked, looking at the nearby diagnostic screen.
“I know,” returned Leon. “He's in renal failure. I need to clear his glomerular capillaries of dead endothelial cells. After that, we can stimulate blood flow through his afferent arterioles. Administer 20 cc's of nephromycin.”
The holographic doctor complied by pressing a hypospray to the patient's neck. Leon watched the screen momentarily before shaking his head.
“Edema is causing a rise in hydrostatic pressure. It must have kept him alive while he was on the Fearless, but if we don't stop it, he'll go into cardiac failure. Give me a systemic ion flush through the superior mesenteric artery.”
“That could cause renal stenosis,” explained the EMH, much to Leon's surprise. “If you use a peptide inhibitor with a molecular discriminator, you can isolate the cross-flow across the glomerular capsules without a drop in pressure.”
“Since when did that become standard procedure?” Doctor Cromwell exclaimed.
“We were introduced to the method seven months ago at Starfleet Medical. It's been cleared for general medical use, though it hasn't reached the journals yet.”
Leon was about to protest the use of a medical procedure in sickbay that he himself wasn't versed in. However, at about that time, his adrenaline rush from the away team expedition began to wear off, and he was struck with a bout of fatigue that washed over him in an audible yawn. Realizing that no other organic being could enter the alcove while the quarantine was in effect, he considered the alternative.
“Fine, do it,” said Leon, lifting his hands in resignation. “I'll assist you.”
For the next five minutes, Leon watched how the EMH worked in calculated precision to stabilize the yet unknown patient. Like her deceased forerunner Shannon Harris, this newer EMH used tactile methodology that was ubiquitous among the pre-programmed medical automatons used throughout Starfleet. Yet, unlike previous versions he had known, this EMH had nuances that seemed unique unto her own, and Doctor Cromwell studied them for mistakes like a raptor searching the underbrush for any sign of prey.
He found none.
In fact, her work was about as seamless as any experienced organic doctor, giving Leon the confidence that the new Republic EMH could indeed function as a ranking member of his staff. As the work came to completion, and the metabolic bio-readouts fell to within nominal, she nodded with satisfaction and looked back to the chief medical officer.
“What now, doctor?” she asked.
“You tell me,” Leon stated matter-of-factly while he rolled a stool towards himself, taking a seat until the quarantine was lifted. “That's now YOUR patient.”
Leon smirked while the Pulaski-style EMH was served yet another surprise by Republic's senior medical doctor turned technophile.
LTCR Leon Cromwell, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
USS Republic, NCC-81371