Friday, October 30, 2009
Caught off Guard
Have dealt with death many times. It is a weekly and/or sometimes a daily occurrence. Most of the time I am able to separate myself and my emotions from the situation. We can show empathy without feeling the burden of the loss of a love one when we are there to support the family at their time of need. However, there are times that something just hits a cord and takes a person off guard. Thursday was one of those days.
Patient presented via POV, family ran in and yelled daddy is not breathing, out to parking lot we run, find guy pulse-less and not breathing. Onto the ground he goes, start compressions, call for gurney, bagging begins, run him to room while trying not to fall off of stretcher while giving compressions. Hook up to monitor, throw in a IO, rhythm check (asystole), start ACL meds. obtain ISAT, CBG, find his K+ to be 7.8, in goes bicarb, regular insulin, CA+, rhythm check (holy crap we have a rhythm, but it is v-tach). Shock him, resume compressions. on and on this goes, he gets a rhythm, we feel a pulse, we start hypothermia protocols, then he bradys down back down, loses pulse and here we go again. Over 3 hours we go and go because he his showing promise or at-least signs of promise, he comes back then we loss him. Then came the time that there was no more that we could not do anymore for him and time of death is called.
The death did not bother me, I knew that we had done everything possible. Dying is a part of life, at-least the last part of life. After everything we had done, after talking with family, after getting the body transported back to the morgue, my guard was let down. I was not in the mind frame to brace myself against families emotions and grief. That is when I was caught off guard. I rounded the corner and basically tripped over a young girl. She was just sitting in the corner of the room, lights off, with tears running down her face. her expression, her eyes, the sense of her complete loss was just over powering. There was nothing I could do, I just put my charts down and sat next fer her. I couldn't say or do anything that would make her feel better. We just sat on the floor in the dim room. It is not death or not being able to save everyone that bothers me, it is not being able to comfort those that are living.
Okay, now that I went off on my little rant, maybe I can get her out of my head.