01 May 2008

Caring for the aged

Suddenly feeling my age this week. I showed up as usual at work on Tuesday, first call was for chest pain. This gentleman was having a MAJOR cardiac event, third degree block with a rate less than 40. We zipped him down the road to the closest hospital even though he really needed the cardiac specialist facility across town. At the closest hospital, he coded less than 5 minutes after we moved him to the bed. In their not-so-state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab, he coded twice more. One of our transfer trucks moved him across town with a balloon pump in place. This all went by me with an, "eh."

Later, we transported a different patient to the other hospital and were admiring the newest cath lab photos of a patient brought in by our company. One of the hospital staff was chitchatting and it turns out that patient was a coworker of mine. A 33 year old coworker. Complete blockage of an artery and doc warned him of substantial buildup in several others they checked. Finally got upstairs to visit him on Wednesday and found him in reasonable spirits but looking 5 years older in the week since I'd seen him last. I think I lost a year or two just hearing the news. Bad enough to think I'm invincible and be facing my age through the marriage and children and divorces of my friends of a similar age - but health problems? No way! I'm too young!

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