Cardiac Arrested Development

, , , , , | Healthy | February 3, 2018

(I am on the evening shift at a specialized cancer ward. I come out from a room and bump into one of my colleagues. This woman is older than I am and, I assume, far more experienced than I am, although I have racked up a fair amount of experience myself at this point. My colleague looks decidedly puzzled.)

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Colleague: “It’s so strange. The patient in [Room] is so unresponsive. And I don’t know what to do about this. She was turning blue and seemed to have trouble breathing!”

(This was delivered almost frustratingly slow. She started to describe just HOW the patient was using her whole torso to draw air into her lungs, but I ran past her into the patient’s room. She’d had a cardiac arrest! I pressed the alarm and, miracle of miracles, we managed to resuscitate her through sheer stubbornness and hard work. We were overjoyed with the resuscitation, but we all had some choice words with the head nurse about our colleague! I never saw her working there again after that.)

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