I vividly remembered a case that touched the bottom of my heart when I was a nursing student posted in ICU.
It was at 3am that the patient, a young gentleman man with cardiac monitoring, was sent to us. Sitting in high fowler, breathing via nasal prong and on infusion amiodarone running through the peripheral vein, he seemed to be alert and conscious.
"One, two, three!" As soon as the staff counted, we shifted him from the HDU bed to our bed. He chuckled to see us, young ladies having such a great strength to lift him.
In the distance, I heard the cardiologist spoke to our anesthetist on-called about intubation. I looked at the monitor and found the saturation was 99%, and I was wondering why they need to intubate him but I dare not ask. I presumed nobody would want to entertain me in such critical situation.
The patient was thus put flat, pre-oxygenated. He was given ketamine, dormicum and scoline prior-intubation. I was helping out with some errand. And all of the sudden, the cardiologist sitting at the counter looking at the central monitor, rushed to the patient bedside and started to give cardiac massage.
I heard him say: "It is not reverting.." I rushed to the get the E-trolley, while my seniors were injecting bolus amiodarone. And the anesthetist was inserting more lines.
"It was non-sustained, shock him.."
However, after a few sinus complexes, the lethal rhythm returned not even ten seconds divulging the young man life. I was performing the chest compression, rotated with the MO and my other seniors. Every attempt when we lift my head to see the rhythm, it was to our disappointment.
It was more than an hour of resuscitation that we still couldn't able to salvage the young man's life. Thus, he was declared dead at 4:17am. I looked at his face, expression-less, cold and mottled. But one hour ago, he was reddish and still able to joke with us.. He was just 34 year old, a father of two and a yet-to-be-born child.
The cardiologist walked out to the waiting area to meet his family member. We were busy cleaning up the mess around. In just a minute, the cardiologist walked in and fretted. "The wife was pregnant and alone. How can she take that.."
The wife came in. I looked at her approached her husband and with trembling voice commanded his husband to wake up. He is not going to wake up, my dear.. She started to groan in agony. I would never run out of my coolness. It was the first time, I was shaken to tear. How could she take that..
Life is so unpredictable. We are just similar to an atomic bomb with a timer set. You never know when it is going to explode. It is important to treasure the people around us before it is too late.
In just less than 24 hours, from the afternoon, he walked into the hospital, had been diagnosed as endorcarditis secondary to viral infection and admitted to HDU for ECG monitoring, and ended his life in ICU.
The father had promised to bring to kids to McDonald after he got well. It was their last chat in HDU. But he never will get the chance.. The mother asked his father to keep his promise.. Will he?