Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kids These Days

Took care of two patients last night who weren't old enough to legally purchase alcohol but were nevertheless addicted to heroin.  One I've treated in the past, and I know he's had a pretty rough life.  The other I'd never seen before, but couldn't help but overhear the screaming match that occurred when her mom arrived at the bedside.  Both of them had been in and out of rehab, and were cruising down a pretty bad path.

The only point of amusement in either episode came from the second kid, who was only semi-responsive upon arrival.  All we had to do was say the word "Narcan" and she'd suddenly perk up, open her eyes, and stammer "No Narcan... no Narcan."  So, naturally, whenever we needed to interact with her for the rest of the evening, we'd step in the room and yell "Narcan" to get her attention.  It even worked long distance, when yelled from across the nursing station.  Now that's a powerful drug.

4 comments:

Joe said...

Humor me. What is "narcan?" And what does it do?

Second Shift said...

Narcan is a wonderful thing - it binds opioid receptors, countercting the effects of drugs like heroin. I've seen it used on people who almost completely unresponsive, and almost immediately after it's given, the patient wakes right up. Most patients hate it because it ruins their high.

keepbreathing said...

I'm going to try this with my COPD patients. Instead of giving them their millionth treatment, I'm just going to open the door to their room and scream "ALBUTEROL!"

Awesome.

Tom said...

No man, you're going to harsh my buzz!

Do you think yelling "SHOCKING" at the patient in VT would work, y'know kind of like the precordial thump? hmmm...