Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Night at the Opera You Are Powerless to Stop

After you've been doing this for a while you can generally see most of them coming from a couple-few miles off. Codes, I mean. But once every so often you walk in on a surprise. Half a year ago we had two at the same time on the our unit. At the change of shift. Naturally.

That poor oncoming nurse! Both rooms were hers. I was at one of them, and I don't think we ever lost a rhythm from what I could see. The patient wasn't exactly sitting up and chatting with us about the Diamondbacks and they had a femoral pulse, but what do I know? Somebody said they didn't, and the next thing I saw was a nursing assistant beginning compressions and then I heard ribs cracking.

Some events take on a momentum of their own. I probably would have just checked a blood-pressure again...

The oncoming nurse ran in panicked-looking, saw me handing a Yankauer to the respiratory therapist (who suctioned up the blood) and I told her we had this one so she could go to the other room. That other one died. Bad GI bleed. Just admitted. Probably should have gone to MICU straight from the ED. Ours woke up and went to CICU. Although when we were done with them they probably should have gone to Trauma.

I did mention my thoughts, both during and after the code. I guess I could have shouted at the top of my lungs, but there's still the possibility that nobody would have heard me over the general commotion.

Later I talked to my boss about it. "Maybe we could have gotten by without breaking ribs and blood spurting out their nose with each compression, " I suggested.

"Yeah, maybe," she said.

1 comment:

may said...

the adrenaline is kinda good, but the post code repurcussions are unwelcome.