Pt care after code

  1. I read a thread about code blues, and I had to comment on something. I know we are all busy in the ER, but I have seen families choose not to witness a code; then when (and if) the pt passes on, the family will then ask to see their loved one. They end up going into the code room and seeing the pt with an airway sticking out of their mouth, and extremities dangling over the bed. It doesn't take long to make the pt look more "peaceful". I have seen family crying hysterically saying "look at _______!!!!", after being left ubruptly after a code without maintanence. To all ER nurses, have you ever witnessed this? My grandmother was left this way in a code room, and the grim picture in my head to this day is very disturbing.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    I work in ICU and I agree - it doesn't tale much to make them look presentable or at least to prepare the relatives. Occasionally we cannot remove tubes i.e. Coronor's cases all the lines and tubes must be left in situ but again - it is possible to prepare the relatives so that it is not such a great shock.

    Mind you I worked at one hospital (church owned) where they wanted me to not only lay the patient out peacefully but to run around the wards and swipe a Lilly or a Rose from some unsuspecting patients bedisde bouquet so that I could postion the dear departed so that they looked like they were holding the flower.
  4. by   nrw350
    hmm, I have actually wondered about this lately when a person died in the hospital or the ER. I am now working for answering service where we often get calls from ER's to funeral homes to come pick up the deceased. I have personally already recieved one such call from an ER nurse. I was stunned at the calmness and coolness of the nurse calling. I know that it is common for these nurses to deal with such things. Being this was my first call to a funeral home director to come pick up a deceased. It took me a moment to register it. I took on the persona of the ER nurse when I called the funeral director.... one of professionallism and respect. Mind ya, I tend to have that persona anyway when dealing with people on the phone, I however found it hard to maintain that because of me feeling bad for the family involved.

    This is a bit off topic, but I have gotten like 2 or 3 calls from the ER like this, and I have wanted to say something like "thank you for being the professional/kind (or some other good word) the nurse calling, but I felt that would be inappropriate. Oh well enough of my rambling.
  5. by   happystudent
    I know what you are saying........

    This morning I walked into the trauma room and a pt had coded....MI.. ANyhoo, The family was there... We usually cut the airway tube far enough down to the pt mouth so it closes and the tube is still left in place. We also take off all leads and stickers for ekgs etc...

    Once all that is done we raise the head of the be about 30 deg and place the blanket below their chin....... sometimes arms on the out side, sometimes we cant... iv's all over. We try really hard to make the pt look "presentable?":imbar I agree, nurses, tech whomever should take the time to make the pt look "not too worked on."

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