What is going on?

Before going to bed, I often walk to the hospital and check in with the doctors on call and quickly examine the intensive care patients.

As I opened the door to the ICU, I noticed a group of nurses and a student standing around a 47 year-old man who was dehydrated and had not received the appropriate amount of fluids. He had stopped breathing 10 minutes prior and had no pulse. The student was giving inadequate chest compressions and no one was giving breaths or oxygen!

I took over leading the emergency but after a few minutes and no response, I pronounced the man dead. He was a patient on the internal medicine team and I had never seen him before, but I could not help but show my extreme frustration and anger over his horrible care.

As I was winding down from this fiasco, I was notified that we had a child being admitted for a medication overdose. One of our doctors gave a 2 year-old with hot water burns a high dose of morphine and tramadol. The patient developed respiratory depression and ultimately cardiac arrest.

After intubating, giving chest compressions and adrenalin, we got a pulse again. By 1AM, he was stabilized.

Minutes later, I was called urgently to neonatology for a blue baby. As I entered the room, the nurse was frantically giving breaths to the infant and he was not responding. I took over and asked her to turn-up the oxygen. She walked over to the tank and then said “oh, I forgot to turn the oxygen on, sorry”.

Within seconds, he looked great.

I left the room but was called back at 2AM. Another blue baby. This time the oxygen was on but the mask was not properly on the patient’s face and the baby was getting no air.

After a few adjustments, the child was fine.

Thing are not always smooth, but his was a particularly bad night.


One Response to “What is going on?”

  1. Francisco Acosta Says:

    Yes, things likes that can happen, especially when people start to man heavy hours. Sometimes the most common things get forgotten.

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