Starting with this title, everyday or alternate day I will share a story or two surrounding the life and work of healthcare workers.
Today’s story is about loss.
On one evening while attending my ICU patients I received a call from ER, one patient is being shifted from emergency to ICU for observation. As per history, pt is 68y/male, chronic alcoholic, known hypertensive and diabetic and known case of cardiac problem (dilated cardiomyopathy). He is on binge drinking for past 3 days, apparently to get rid of his boredom during COVID 19 lockdown. On receiving in ER all supportive treatments started, patient is now stable and now on the way to ICU for observation.
On receiving patient in ICU, nurse Informed “Doctor, patient is gasping and no carotid pulse”. I called for crash cart, ordered to start CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR). Immediately did endotracheal intubation. Informed patient’s relatives about the sudden cardiac arrest. By looking at their face I can understand their dumbstruck frightening situation and I also know that this fright may turn into frustration if not done something immediately. So we tried everything possible from shock to syringe. And finally after 15 mins of our efforts, we got pulse (sinus rhythm). Still after this much effort, chances of his survival is grim as the resuscitation took 15 mins and the same conveyed to family. Patient kept on ventilator and continued.
After 2 days, one of our nurses looked morbid, I asked “what happened? You are not looking dull today. Not in your usual cheerfulness”. She shrugged her shoulder and said nothing. My duty got finished, I went inside to collect my belongings. Inside, she was sitting and sobbing. I rushed to her, asked what happened? Is everything okay? She looked at me and said I had miscarriage today. I was not shocked as spontaneous miscarriages my happen considering the amount of stress we have to undergo at workplace. She continued “ Do you remember the patient we gave CPR day before yesterday? I didn’t know I was pregnant then. I checked for pregnancy yesterday since I missed my periods for 2 weeks. And today morning I started bleeding, went for obstetrician consultation. She said it’s a miscarriage”. Now I was numb. I stayed back, held her hands but said nothing, I don’t have words to console her. No words can console her situation, I cannot even say try next time because who knows next time this may again happen not for a binge drunkard but may be for a reckless driver. We sat in silence for sometime and parted our ways for the day.
Later that day I realised everyone is interconnected, we are not the sole bearers of our actions, others may get affected too. Being responsible in our action will save a lot including lives.