Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sometimes They Shouldn't Be Saved

We had a code blue about 10 days ago. Don't know why, but a normal alert & oriented person's heart just stopped beating. No real warnings. The code was called. I was handed the book to record the minute by minute details of what happened during the code. I had never done that before, but I learned quickly. My advice...get a blank piece of paper & just start writing stuff down...by the minute. Then after all is said & done, transfer it to the official code paperwork.

Anyways, the patient was asystole....epinephrine and atropine were pushed. CPR continued...we got a pulse, then it went to v-tach and then to v-fib. What do we do with v-fib.......defib. We ended up shocking him 4 times. Just as they were calling for us to stop the code, a normal sinus rhythm popped up on the screen. Sounds like a miracle...but the code had lasted 20 minutes & it's too long without oxygen to the brain. He survived...he's on a vent...but plans to extubate & send him with hospice since he is virtually brain dead.

It's sad...both for the medical staff and the family. We think we were helping, but after all is said & done, we should have let him go a few minutes sooner during that code. I feel for the family...it's a tough decision for them, but they are making the right one.

My orientee is doing well. She's taking the full patient load on her own & I am trying to back off & let her come to me if she needs advice. She has 12 shifts left on orientation, so she needs to learn to be independent. I think this week I will challenge her...when she comes to me to ask a question, I'll ask her what she thinks. It's the best way to learn. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders.

We got fitted for our navy colored scrubs. No one is happy about all looking the same, but there's nothing we can do about it. I'm glad it's not white or some other goofy color. I feel like they are making us generic by all looking the same. Oh well, seems like many hospitals are doing this also. If that's my biggest pet peeve with the hospital, it's not so bad.

I spent last weekend with my three bff's at a hotel in Orlando. One of my friends turned 40, so we spent the day poolside and the night at Citywalk. Stayed the night at the hotel & went shopping the next day. It was a blast!!!

And speaking of bff's......today is Maria's b-day. Happy Birthday, Maria!!! :))

3 comments:

mizpahlouise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
newnurseinthehood said...

Well said. I feel this way about codes most of the time- at some point we have to ask ourselves why. I wish more families got it.

Amanda said...

Great post Jen! I think sometimes if people are a DNR, they think we stop trying to help them..or family members feel like they are "giving up" on their loved one. Until I saw my first code, and saw the quality of life that the person had afterwards, I would have agreed that I would want heroic measures. After seeing the devistation that is sometimes left in the wake of a code, I hope when my time comes, I go peacfully and cause my loved ones the least amount of trauma. And I also believe the best gift you can give your family is a living will/advanced directive. No one wants to make decisions for someone else and wrestle with a mountain of "what ifs?"