At the change of shift, I got a cardiac arrest patient. The arrest was witnessed and paramedics arrived on the scene about 4 minutes after the patient went down. The patient came to us intubated and with a nice 18g IV to the left EJ. Without a clear history, we weren't sure of what caused the arrest.
In an effort to "quickly" figure out what to do next, the doc asked for an iSTAT to be run (basic chems + H/H... takes 2 minutes to complete). I handed off the blood to one of our ED techs who happened to walk by the room and told him that I need this immediately.
5 minutes later we wondered where those results were. Nothing was on the iSTAT machine, and the tech was nowhere to be found. When he finally appeared, I asked him where the results were. He said that he was doing an EKG and that the machine was now "cookin'." In other words, he got sidetracked and forgot.
After the code was terminated (and the patient expired), I yelled at the tech for failing to prioritize correctly. He saw the intubation box, the crash cart, and coworkers doing CPR on a patient. The tech's excuse was "I'm not the only one who knows how to use an iSTAT machine. You have 7 other nurses and 3 techs around, and I had to do an EKG."
My thinking was... if that had been ME in HIS position, I would have started the iSTAT machine, brought the small little machine over to where the code was occurring, and then prance over to do the EKG.
Instead, we wound up with a hemolyzed sample and screwy results because the blood had been sitting around for so long before it was run.
Was I wrong in getting upset with this tech? Maybe I should just do everything myself from here on out...