Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don't Taze Me, Bro!

Note: I actually wrote this last year, just for fun. Figured I'd post it here for kicks and giggles.


I had two night shifts this week.  Back to back, with school in between.  That was fun.

The first one was actually decently interesting.  Some guy almost got tazed.  He came in complaining of back pain after getting into a fight.  Apparently his girlfriend got into a tussle with some rather butch lesbians.  He, of course, came to her rescue...and got his butt handed to him. His girlfriend said something about him being thrown six feet.  Of course, after spending a few minutes around the guy, the rest of us wanted to throw him too.

"I've been waiting twenty minutes!" This came from his room. Nobody really responded at this point.  So he escalated.  He began shouting, cursing, and generally making it known that he was being treated unfairly and wanted to go somewhere else.  A nearby security guard came over to tell him to calm down.  The patient, yelling all the while, walked quickly toward the guard.  Big mistake. The guard stiff-armed him to keep him in his room and put his hand on his tazer.

"Get back in your room or you will be tazed!" shouted the now-pissed guard.  Repeatedly.  And to no avail. He called for stat backup to room 4, all the while keeping the patient in his room. The patient, of course, would have none of it.

"He pushed me!  Did you see that?" he said to no one in general. "He pushed me!"

Buddy, you're getting off easy.  The rest of us want him to taze you.

Of course, while all this is going on, EMS wheeled in a cardiac arrest victim into a nearby trauma room. This patient had been found down after an unknown period of time with a hypodermic needle nearby. The paramedics had intubated him, given ETT Narcan, and CPR was in progress,  but he was in asystole—a non-shockable rhythm. Once in the room, the doctor I was scribing for drilled a hole into the patient's left shin to insert an intraosseous line and administered epinephrine and fluids.   Didn't work.  CPR was stopped, and after the artifacts on the cardiac monitor passed, we all could see that this wasn't going anywhere fast.  CPR was restarted, epi was administered again.  No change.  Code was called at 02:42.

This type of contrast between life and death isn't uncommon in the ED. In one room, one patient had experienced his last high. In another room, the patient was going to live to be a jerk another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts? Comments? Requests? Let me know!