This is usually one of two things:
1.The patient has fallen asleep…in which case- big deal, they’re probably in their bathrobe anyways.
2. They’re dead…
In the most recent code- called to the dialysis area, the patient was of the latter type. I didn’t get to run down to the code but I was in the ER when the patient was wheeled over. They were able to get a pulse back and the patient was intubated.
Time was spent trying to further stabilize the patient and then a central line was placed. Placing a central line involves putting an iv into a deep vein and feeding it so that it ends near to the heart. It allows for quick delivery of meds and the medicines get into the system quickly. Also, the line can be used for drawing blood or running iv’s. It’s a good thing to have on someone who is a hard stick if you need to give meds and you need to do it fast!
The patient is stabilized enough to get them transferred to the ICU. I don’t see them go upstairs, I just get the task of taking up a forgotten wheelchair an hour or two later.
When I get to the patients room I see them. The tube used for intubation has been removed and the patient- is sitting up and talking! It just blows my mind how resilient the body can be and how efficient and knowledgeable our life-saving staff are.
Getting screamed at by a crack-head because you “work for the government” can get a little old, but getting the “wins” like I described -make it all worth it. It refreshes your spirit and brings you joy when you think about what you have the opportunity to be a part of.