Mommy Nurse Wife and 25!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Who chokes on Lasix anyway?

So last night was a new one for me...I saved someone's life. I recognize the fact that I have been a part of saving a life before. Doing cardioversions, helping (or as I learned in the ICU, convincing the doctor to perform) intubations, initiating Dopamine or giving Adenosine, the list goes on and on. We all do it, this is our job.

BUT, last night, I was giving a patient his pills and at that moment where I usually hold my breath until s/he swallows and says "It went down," I couldn't exhale because it didn't go down. Instead, he sat bolt upright in the stretcher, eyed bugged out of his head, and he turned that scary shade of bluish/purple which I have learned to loathe. He was choking, no doubt about it.

So, I encouraged him to cough, which WAS NOT happening, and when I realized he was choking I got behind him in the stretcher and did the heimlech. At the same moment I gave the old heave-ho I thought to myself "holy shit, this dude is big" (I couldn't even really get my midget hands wrapped on top of one another, so it was a modified Cassie-style maneuver) and let go after one squeeze. I came around off the stretcher, while screaming for help of course, and he was starting to exchange a little bit of air. I was cheering him on like I was at the Super Bowl, "Come on, cough it up, come on. Rah rah rah." And with every passing second he did get more and more air through and finally managed a cough. Then he didn't stop coughing for the next fifteen minutes.

So today I've been thinking--When you have those shitty days where you feel like you can't do anything right, you will have one of these great moments right around the corner where you'll know you made a different. And all I had to do was make my patient choke on his Lasix. Piece of cake.


  • At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Kim said…

    I have never had a patient choke on Lasix. Potassium, yes - those are horse pills!


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