Thursday, October 09, 2008

Waking up

Was in the middle of a ward round this morning, we'd just exited the bay, and I'd gone to get a drug chart for the next patient when the bell went off.

Too often, this happens, everyone rushes to the scene and more often than not, its a patient who's pressed the button by accident or is normally more than a little confused. I began to realise something was up about 5 seconds later, when no one walked back complaining about how the alarm seems to go off for nothing.

My registrar had already started doing chest compressions, so I took his place while he directed the collection of nurses and house officers who began to pile up at the foot of the patient's bed. Chest compressions on a real patient, I'd never realised before how much they differ from the dummy we train on at the clinical skills centre. The chest wall being much more compliant, and not as rigid as a dummy's as well as hearing that give as one presses down..that all makes sense now.

While I was busy counting to 30, IV lines had been set, and gel paddles were placed on the patient. By then, not only the ward doctors were there but the cardiac arrest team had also come up from the ground floor.

Left the patient (someone else took over the compressions) to continue the ward round as my registrar said there were too many doctors about. Only my second cardiac arrest call as a doctor.