26 December 2007

He has a what?!?

He had a pulse folks. Un-freaking-believable. I was beginning to think that the whole "CPR saves" mantra was solely effective marketing by the AHA. Blah-blah-early CPR-blah-blah. I was finally on a call with a patient who went from asystole back to a perfusing rhythm.

The Asian, the stu' and myself were dispatched for a cardiac arrest. Nothing like that dispatch to put a spring in the step of a stu; he nearly ran to the truck. Workable arrests are highly prized for paramedic students because it gives them the opportunity to practice a number of skills and have procedures checked off their list all in one fell swoop. The usual review of what equipment to take in and our division of responsibilities happened on the ride over. Update enroute with CPR in progress.

On arrival, we find out CPR had been in progress from pretty much the moment the arrest happened because there was an off-duty city FF on scene. The engine crew took over when they got there, no shock advised on the AED and they had a good combitube airway, so this patient was getting everything he should be and mighty fast. Our stu dropped an ETT, I got the IV and the first round of drugs into the patient, patient on to a backboard, onto the stretcher and out to the truck. Transport initiated within 10 minutes. More drugs and an IO enroute and just as we're pulling into the hospital parking lot, he has a pulse.

I get to the back doors to help pull the stretcher out and am surprised to hear the good news. We roll the patient inside and The Asian starts giving report as the rest of us are working on moving the patient into the hospital bed. I look up and see a nurse doing chest compressions and loudly state that our patient has a pulse because clearly she missed that part. Thankfully she only got in 3 or 4 before I stopped her, CPR on a living person is not so good for them. Doc gave us the thumbs up for the good work. Update before the end of shift (6 hours) was that patient was in the ICU and had actually opened his eyes at one point. I haven't been able to check in again to find out whether he had any brain injury from the arrest, but as far as I know, he's still alive.


Ellie said...

Congrats! Hope you had a nice Christmas.

make mine trauma said...

Awesome. I have yet to be around when there is a code in the O.R.
Not that they don't happen, I just haven't been there yet.