Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas
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Hm. Nothing but CPR waveforms…tragic.
Hmm… I see some Torsades…
I’m not sure whether I should be disturbed or something else when I see the bureaucratic intrusions at the end of life.
Now say, Thank You to the nurse who has to sort through those strips and post them on the chart. Then make all the appropriate phone calls to the organ donation organization, private physician, and medical examiner.
For us the “code” lasts at least another two hours. It’s not over until the paperwork is done.
In my ER, the nurses plead for you to get the very sick patients, the ones who are trying to die, up to the ICU as fast as possible. It is not because they don’t like caring for the patient, they fear the hours of paperwork they end up with if the patient dies in the ER. Plenty of times I have heard “Let’s get him up to the ICU so I don’t have to do all the paperwork when he dies”. Like a game of hot potato or musical chairs with the death paperwork, the nurses dread that more than death itself.
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