Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Today was a fantastic day.

A patient came in and was VERY sick. We had no background story and no clear reason why the patient was the way they were.

Numerous interventions began: Intubation, blood glucose check, bloodwork was drawn, ECG completed. I was in the thick of things trying to help this patient... grabbing the glucometer, setting the patient up on the monitor, etc. However the patient's SpO2 was in the 40's, the BP was dropping; essentially the patient was dying.

Anyway, there was something I noticed along the process that I verbalized out loud to everyone. Everyone stopped and looked at the monitor. The doc agreed with my observation, and after a bit of further investigating it was deemed to be the reason for the patient being sick.

The thing I noticed was some slight ST depression on lead II that was being displayed on the monitor. It had not been there earlier upon the patient's arrival, and an earlier ECG hadn't shown anything.

Another ECG was called for. Sure enough, it indicated the patient was having a STEMI in multiple leads.

20 minutes later the patient was on a dopamine drip and on their way to the PCI lab. Afterwards I heard that the patient was doing much better.

This was the first time I have ever actively noticed something, or done something that saved a patient's life.

Don't get me wrong, someone not even 2 minutes later would have noticed the same thing as me and mentioned it.

But this time it was me. COOLEST... SHIT.... EVER.

I'm proud of myself.


Strong One said...

It's a good good feeling.

Chris said...

Well done,

feels good, doesn't it!

SteveC said...

Read this on Change of Shift, Nov. 13, 2008... NICE catch! :)

miss-elaine-ious said...

Thanks guys!

Nurse Practitioners Save Lives said...

I also had an A HA moment right after I graduated. I noticed that a patient didn't "look good" and requested that a doctor come and look at the patient. He didn't want to at first but afterwards, the patient was sent out for a cardiac cath that resulted in three stents.
Great catch! You deserve a big pat on the back and many more to come!