Worst thing you have seen - page 3

Hi all, Burn unit is another one of my intersts. I was just wondering, what is the worst thing you have seen?(most disgusting, saddest ect...) Thank you Lookin' Forward to your... Read More

  1. by   FranEMTnurse
    Quote from teeituptom
    He lasted 3 days
    there was a miracle attached to it though
    his son was hit by the same lightning strike
    after having been through 3 rounds of chemo and rad therapy for leukemia
    he has been in remission ever since and is still doing well todaym who says there isnt a god
    Right on, Tom. Miracles are performed every day, that mankind has nothing to do with.
  2. by   gwenith
    Quote from teeituptom
    The worst one I ever saw

    was over 20 yrs ago, I was in ICU then. A young man had been struck with lightning. Major burns, shirt buttons melted and burned into him, the zipper melted and burned into his genitalia, brain damaged. 90 percent burns. The hosp that normally takes burns was all full and couldnt take him, so they sent him to SICU. I was the recieving RN. surgeon was with him, we were cleanining and debriding him, Then I saw a tatoo on him. He was no longer a John Doe that came in unrecognizably burnt.

    He was my Brother in Law
    Oh! Tom (((((((((hugs))))))))))) that is every nurses nightmare. That the person we are treating for the major injury is someone we know. It is a hard thing to live with.
  3. by   vaughanmk
    OMG, that gave me the worst case of the chills I have had in a long time. I am so sorry you had to go through that.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from teeituptom
    He lasted 3 days
    there was a miracle attached to it though
    his son was hit by the same lightning strike
    after having been through 3 rounds of chemo and rad therapy for leukemia
    he has been in remission ever since and is still doing well todaym who says there isnt a god
    in all seriousness, do you think it was the chemo/rad tx or the lightening that saved him? i've heard some pretty incredible stories revolved around lightening....

    i am so very sorry about the tragedy with your brother in law...was there a God then? it is not my intent to sound disrespectful; i am feeling a bit confused these days.
  5. by   teeituptom
    Quote from earle58
    in all seriousness, do you think it was the chemo/rad tx or the lightening that saved him? i've heard some pretty incredible stories revolved around lightening....

    i am so very sorry about the tragedy with your brother in law...was there a God then? it is not my intent to sound disrespectful; i am feeling a bit confused these days.
    The Lord giveth
    the lord taketh
    he took my brother in law
    at the same time he cured my nephew in law


    My brother in law would have given his life for his son
    I dont know the answers except in faith
  6. by   Energizer Bunny
    Tom, the whole story is incredible! I'm sorry for your loss, but praising God for the gift you received in return. He works in mysterious ways.......
  7. by   Mags4711
    Yes, the Lord certainly does.


    Worst I've ever seen? Way way way too many to even write about. And how do you judge worst? Worst to whom? The patient who is suffering? The family? Us as caregivers? Is it easier when they are vented and we can really snow them prior to dressings? Or is it easier knowing that they are well enough not to need a vent? Is it easier to know that though the patients we have who are partial thickness will likely not have as much scarring nor as many complications from their burns but will be in more pain than those who are full thickness but will have to be grafted and then have significant scarring?

    Is it worse to have a baby or a child burned and die or is it worse to have a father and sole provider for the family die? Or not die, linger for months in the ICU and then more months in rehab never to be the father they remembered again? And the family loses their house and everything they worked so hard for either in the fire that caused the injury or because of the loss of income?

    Are the child abuse cases worse because you feel so sorry for the child and so angry at the system and the parent? Or are the accidents worse because it was just that, a silly, stupid freak accident? Or are the burn victims from car accidents worse because maybe they were hit by a drunk driver and were an innocent bystander whose life is now ruined? The man who has been married for ten years, trying time and again to have a baby with his wife, multiple IVF attempts, to finally get pregnant on the fourth try. He is on his way to work in the morning when she is about 6 weeks along, he gets nailed by a carload of drunk teenagers at four am and it slams his truck into a tree, sustaining multiple broken bones and a 70% burn. He languishes in a tertiary care center for a couple of months until his bones heal, and his burns mostly heal but he has had to have multiple amputations for both the mangling of his right arm and the loss of toes/arms, etc from being on levphed so long. He comes to us fro flaps and plastics consults and to get off the vent and is actually getting better (if you can call it that), is making some progress, but because of all the drugs he is not completely with it. Finally he is going to rehab and he aspirates, get a horrible aspiration pneumonia and support is withdrawn. He dies Easter Sunday morning and his funeral is Wednedsay, his wife delivers their baby on that following Thursday afternoon.
    Is it worse to think about the family who may have lost all seven of their children in a fire and the parents are still alive, because of how sad it is the children died? Or is it better because they were living in squallor and the seven kids were all left to fend for themselves anyway and the mother was planning to keep right on having more. Put an age to the mom and add no father into the mix (or all different dads). Say mom was 26 G9 P7, had her first at 14. Is that more heartbreaking? For mom or the kids or us because secretly we are relieved the kids won't suffer anymore and the mother either died or can't have more kids.
    Is it worse when someone sets themsleves on fire in a suicide attempt and gets burned over 60%, 80%, 95% of their body? And what about that is worse? That they were so depressed that they did it in the first place, or that they live and have to live with the pain and scarring after that one moment in time, that one lapse in judgement? Or to the family left behind if the patient dies because they are so anguished about the loss and questioning why, why, why? Or the cultures where traditionally the women set themselves on fire either because they are mourning their husband or because they believe they shamed their family? And the family is of course Westernized but still has to deal with the task of bathing and wrapping the body after death because of their desire to honor that tradition? Or the man who was stalking his ex-girlfirend and came over to beat her up and the cops came and then followed him, so he speeds off in his car, drunk, heads for his home (two blocks away) and biffs a tree at a really high rate of speed and the car bursts into flames, upside down, the windows break and the firemen hear his screams, along with everyone else from his neighborhood. It burns for 30 mins or so before they can knock it down enough to get into the car and get what they think is his body out. He is still breathing and making raspy noises. So even though he has no fingers or nose left, they (actually my ex) rush him to me and our center and we flog him for about ten hours. Who was that worse for? Us for flogging what we knew was a hopeless case? His friends, ex or family for being there and seeing it all? The firefighters who couldn't save him, or so they thought, only to find a charred person rasping , gasping and breathing? The transporting medics who knew they couldn't do anything to help him and couldn't get a line for morphine, either? Or him for being so mentally off or for going though that all at the end?
    Or the poor 22 yo pregnant prostitute who was on the streets because her mother was a prostitute and she never knew her father and her mom's boyfriend was physically and sexually abusive to her, then he killed her mom and she has no family. Then her (the 22yo's) pimp sets her on fire because she either didn't make enough money, or she stole from him, or something. Leaves her to die and she is found, 90% full thickness burned, loses the baby (26 wks along), never regains consciousness. No one ever comes to see her, we never find any family nor any friends to give us direction about whether to keep flogging her along, and we spend an entire 24 hours doing escharotomy after escharotomy and fasciotomy after fasciotomy trying to get a tidal volume of at least 125 cc into her. The attending and I sit at her bedside all night singing to her and holding her bloated hands as I have LR and Norepi and blood products essentially wide open while the police try in vain to find someone to come be with her and everything we put into her is running down the bedsheets, leaking out of her into puddles on the floor (really). She is unrecognizable as a person because of all the fluid, her lips and labia are so swollen that they are splitting, her eyes cannot even be pried open because her face is so swollen. She finally dies without anyone she knows being there with her. But she was NOT alone!

    Sorry, rambling, and actually I just cried about that experience for the first time...

    So, not to be rude to the person who asked the question initially of what is the worst thing we have ever seen, nor to the people who responded with their stories. But I cannot answer the question easily, there are too many factors involved, as you can see. I have likely hundreds more stories almost as sad, if not sadder than these. Maybe I will share more at another time. This was sort of cathartic.

    And yes, I love burns and trauma. I now work full-time in Neonatal ICU, but still pick up hours in Trauma/Burn and will likely never quit that.

    sincerely,

    Faith
    Last edit by Mags4711 on Jun 23, '04 : Reason: typos. add another thought
  8. by   FranEMTnurse
    God bless you, Faith. You have addressed it all. How hard that must have been. I admire your strength. your compassion, and your caring enough to address everyone in the chain of command. With each and every incident. I am glad you did that. Kind of a therapeutic thing, hunh.


    (((((((((((FAITH)))))))))):kiss
  9. by   dawngloves
    I think you really encompassed it Faith.There are different degrees of what I consider, "the worst" and then there are the things that made me angry for many reasons.
  10. by   PennyLane
    Faith, how wonderful of you to care for these people with such compassion. You obviously put your heart and soul into your work. Thank you for sharing, even though the stories are so sad.
  11. by   clgmezzo
    I had one woman who burned her children up purposely in a housefire, very susan smith-ish, new boyfriend, didnt want her kids-tried to pin it on th 6 year old playing with a lighter.
    The other is just recently a woman and a man were getting a divorce, he was upset and had a "if i cant have you no one can attitude" went on line, bought the strongest acid he could. When she came to pick up her things he chased her, grabbed her, drug her down the basement and held her down while he covered her with the acid, especially her face, horrible full thickness stuff. He got some acid burns in the process, and was brought to our center as well, and she knew he was there and was scared til he left. Hes going on trial soon. That was horrid
  12. by   BucklandRN
    Geez, that was something Faith. Sometimes I wonder if I will be strong enough to face these situations and not carry them home with me . I guess I wont truly understand the magnitude of the job until I actually start my clinicals. I am so excited and scared at the same time. I don't know if I can handle it mentally, and emotionally, but I know that this is my calling. How do you heal after a days work?
  13. by   teeituptom
    Quote from BucklandRN
    Geez, that was something Faith. Sometimes I wonder if I will be strong enough to face these situations and not carry them home with me . I guess I wont truly understand the magnitude of the job until I actually start my clinicals. I am so excited and scared at the same time. I don't know if I can handle it mentally, and emotionally, but I know that this is my calling. How do you heal after a days work?

    Dealing with this kind of stress is easy for me

    I exercise and GOLF GOLF GOLF

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