About a year ago I got certified to teach BLS and I've been teaching recerts to my coworkers at my hospital since then. I taught a class on Friday and when it came to choking I remember saying something along the lines of "Now, I've never done the heimlich but..." Big mistake. Of course the next day I worked on the floor and the kitchen delivery person tracks me down to tell me that a patient is choking.
I run to the patient's room and, sure as ****, she is clutching her throat with both hands and cyanotic-- not making a sound. I yell for help and, without even thinking, wrap my arms around her and giver her two heimlich thrusts. She coughs up her grilled cheese piece and swallows it again. Yuck.
It's all in a days work. When was the first time you saved a patient? ������
Last edit by Brian S. on Aug 3
I unfortunately can't think of such a time. I have *knock on wood*
never had to perform the Heimlich.
I have helped in codes with varying outcomes. Myself and another
nurse walked in one night on a patient who was coding, and I
immediately jumped on top of him and started doing chest
compressions. Unfortunately, he ultimately did not make it.
....my own toddler.
I'm an ED nurse. I'd like to say I did it just like I would at work. I don't really remember what I did. Some kind of heimlich/abdominal thrust? Who knows. It came flying out though. Talk bout adrenaline.
Why do you say "Big mistake?". Sounds like a good thing that they knew you could help and got you! That's why we have BLS! Congrats.
Actually, I didn't--the floor nurses did. I was just a dumb first-year student afraid I didn't know how to give a bed-bath properly. So I was with my patient, giving her a bed-bath and trying to do it perfectly while her roommate sat in a chair, waiting for her son to come pick her up (she had just been discharged). Sometime during the bed-bath the roommate started to snore--so loudly that my patient even remarked that she was "really sawing wood over there, huh?" We both giggled.
Then the lady suddenly stopped snoring. So abrupt was the change that I peeked around the curtain. Not only was she not snoring, she wasn't breathing. I went over and shook her shoulder--nothing. So I pulled the cord and dialed the operator to call a code, right? Nope--I freaked out, ran into the hallway, saw my instructor, and frantically waved my arms at her; she ran to the room, got the code called, everyone came in, and when they (literally) threw the lady onto the bed she suddenly gasped and came back. I was just so glad my instructor was there in the hallway--if she hadn't been, I don't know what I would have done.
I had to wait 8 or 9 years before I had the pleasure of participating in a successful resuscitation. It was worth waiting for though--totally awesome.
I am going into my third semester of nursing school and just started a nurse extern position in the ED. On my very first day in the ED, a cardiac arrest came in and I had to do compressions. It was the scariest thing I've done so far because I was not prepared and really had no clue how codes worked. But I put on my big girl panties and performed those compressions and we saved the patients life. It was a group effort, but I played a part in it and I'm so proud of myself for stepping up to the plate when I just wanted to run the other way lol.
I can't remember my first, 40 yrs is a long time. I do remember one of the last though.
It was Labor Day weekend, 3 -12 hr shifts in a row, each with it's own disaster. Small community hospital, no ICU, pack and ship any critical patient.i had a patient with resp issues.
As the morning passes, I'm becoming more concerned. Resp status is declining and the patient wouldn't get into the bed. I knew if they stopped breathing in the chair, it would only get worse.
Finally into the bed, code called, intubated,helicoptered out.
The patient was back a few weeks later to say thanks! They finally understood why I wanted them in bed and not the chair.
I no longer do bedside care, but remember the days well.
Last edit by jrbl77 on Aug 6
: Reason: Spelling
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