Friday, December 18, 2009

Family Matters

She was septic.

Recovering from major surgery and a cardiac arrest earlier this year, she was hypotensive, respiratory rate in the upper 30s, oxygen sat in the 80s. COPD, bilateral effusions, altered mental status.

As I leaned over her to take a temperature, I could hear her whispering about how tired she was.

It didn't take long for her sats to drop into the 60s, buying her a tube and a ventilator. Her daughter watched from across the hall, crying silently.

There wasn't much I could do for the patient, though someday I hope to be the one intubating and starting the central line. For her daughter, though, I was able to find a chair, a glass of water, and a phone for her to call family while trying to explain what was happening.

It wasn't much, but as she grabbed my hand and thanked me, it felt like enough.

1 comment:

Chris said...

It was enough. It was what she needed.