Blood bath

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whew…WHAT a night at work!

I’m still kind of in shock.

Let me start from the beginning…

It was my first night on.  I was going to be in the ER (since it was my turn to float).

Made it through the first four hours of my shift with no problem.  Then another ICU nurse was floated to the ER.  We were short-staffed–one section had to be closed–we were working with five total nurses instead of the seven or eight that are normally on.

Around 2:30 am the morning supervisor came in to “help out.”  She said she had a feeling that she was needed.

4 am–ambulance call came in…a young woman coding…32 years old…everyone took their places and tried to save a life…I was designated to watch all the heart rhythm monitors while the code proceeded.

Unfortunately the woman passed away.  It was quite a shock for me…the first time I’ve been in the ED when a code came in and even though I was not IN the room (believe me, I was fine not being in the room) I was experiencing the code…I could see on the monitor when there were good chest compressions, I was hoping that the team would be successful.  I could see that the people I work with were trying to save a life.

After the code, about 5 am–a pt that was going to be admitted for a GI bleed was seen by the hospitalist and he wanted the pt to have an NGT put in…the other ICU nurse was helping the nurse who had that pt…they were unsuccessful…the pt could not tolerate it and then all of a sudden he started vomiting HUGE amounts of blood…I’m talking golf ball-sized clumps…he started becoming confused from lack of blood/perfusion…I ran over and tried to help because he was trying to get up…but he was choking on his blood…

The pt was intubated and brought into surgery.

But there was so much that went on to get him to that point…almost every nurse was involved in his care…we were sedating him to intubate him, he was fighting the vent so he was sedated with high levels of a medication that then subsequently brought down his blood pressure which had to be supported by IV vasopressors…we were suctioning blood like crazy…he received four units of blood…


But we stabilized him as best we could…as a TEAM.  It was such a great feeling to be working with the other nurses knowing that what we were doing was having a direct impact on this man’s life.  The wife was called back in…she looked so scared…we reassured her…all I kept thinking was that this pt could have been up in a room by himself and died.  We were there for him…

It’s times like these that I feel thankful that my little part in this patient’s stay may have helped him…I was proud to be a nurse last night.


Published in: on October 18, 2012 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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