Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hold Me Tight

While I'm often lucky enough to work with a team that will let me get some hands-on experience and take the time to teach me, I'm still the low man on the totem pole and occasionally get dealt the less-than-stimulating tasks of sitting with psychiatric patients, cleaning off Scabies Guy, or serving as a human pressure dressing.

The other night a middle-aged dialysis patient came in with a bleeding fistula.  I've seen plenty of fistulas before, but this one was bleeding so heavily that it soaked through every dressing we applied in a matter of seconds, resulting in a good 45 minutes of me applying direct pressure while waiting for the consult to arrive.  Even though I was tightly clamping down on the arm, the force of the blood pumping through was enough to push my hand back.  Luckily, the gentleman was a nice guy and we made small talk to pass the time while making sure he didn't bleed out.

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