Archives for February 25, 2005

Georgia Stabbings from the Surgeon who Treated

A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure

I was helping out a gynecologist friend of mine answer the age old question: Is it appendicitis or PID? I won, he lost. As I helped him free up the TOA the ED called up with a “trauma alert”. Several children in cardiac arrest. Bidding farewell I went down to the ED. Four children with penetrating injury, unknown number in full arrest.
First child arrives, followed shortly by another.

And yes, even people who see tragedy daily are affected by it:

It was truly like a bad episode of “ER” with shouting and lots of people working furiously to save these children’s lives. Paramedics carrying limp bodies of bloodied children into the trauma bay. Then going outside to cry, vomit, or both. Nurses and house staff running these patients to the OR, then themselves breaking through the brittle shell holding their emotions in check.
As for myself, I could not comprehend what could drive someone to do this. How sick or evil this person was to do this to innocent and helpless children. What psychological price will these little ones pay for the rest of their lives?
As I was rounding one them today one told me, “I was bad.”
“No ____, you have been very good throughout all this. And you will get better”
So far, my brittle shell is only cracked.

Read it all, if you can. Man is capable of the most extraordinary evil, and astonishing good, both demonstrated here.

Internal Disaster

code blog: tales of a nurse: Internal Disaster

Those aren’t words you want to hear over the loudspeaker of your place of employment.

The alarm sounded, but although it’s usually cleared within a few moments, this time it just kept going. Ding. Ding. Ding. What the heck was going on? The rumors filtered down over a matter of minutes. A doctor who had been on the Floor In Question came down to ICU with stories of patients being evacuated. Huh? If patients are being evacuated, why are you down HERE telling us about it instead of up there? We thought he was full of it, trying to pull our collective legs.

But then we heard the announcement, and it cemented everything he’d said. We were having an Internal Disaster. “This is not a drill.” Soon, we heard our charge nurse’s Vocera chime in: “Please have all evacuation litters and chairs ready to go when the transporters come for them.”


This was real! A real, live emergency!

Though she’s being (appropriately) cagey about the cause of the disaster, there are Lessons To Be Learned from reading this.