Strangest Lost one I ever had.....

by CathyLew 2,334 Views | 6 Comments

  1. 4
    Strangest lost one I ever had.

    After reading the “lost one” post, I got to thinking about the strangest “Lost one” I ever had.

    Back several years…. I had a patient admitted for bilateral DVT’s come up from the ED. His legs were like stove pipes. Big, hard, red, weak pulses. We started him on a heparin drip. (this was before lovenox) less than an hour after he was admitted, we had a big storm. Huge crack of thunder and lightning. The power went out. As always, the staff counts out loud till the generator kicks in. one.... two.... three.... four.... five.... six.... seven.... eight.... nine.... ten.... Eleven.... twelve..... click. Lights go on.

    I went around to my patients once the power came back on to reassure them that the generator would run the pumps and such. When I got to the new admits room, I decided, well, it wasn’t quite an hour, but I would do a reassess. I flicked on the room light and pulled back his blankets. There were these little skinny legs where the stove pipes had been. Little skinny raisin legs…. Shrunken skin withered on his shinbones.

    I didn’t even feel for the pulses… I just curled my fingers over his cold toes and looked in his face….and asked how he was feeling. He said, well I was feeling OK, but now I feel sort of funny. Um, how funny? I asked… and looked at his feet and outloud I asked, where are your blood clots? That was supposed to be one of those mental questions. Clots? He asked... what Clots? As he twitched.

    I really felt I was watching some sort of sick Russian roulette. Round and round they go, where they stop nobody knows! Would this be an MI, or a stroke… Pulminary emboli.... where would those big clots lodge? I clamped off the heparin drip. Picked up the patient phone and called the desk. "I think we are going to have a code" YOU THINK WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A CODE???? I hear from the desk.... Yep, I think we are going to have a code...

    Mr stove pipe twitches again. I don’t feel so good....

    Please call the ED Doctor for me. Tell him the pt in 109-1’s clots are gone...

    I swear as I looked at him, I could see the path those clots were traveling…the near misses.. and the eventual lodging in the heart or other major vessel. He went out about the time the ED Dr arrived. The code was a circus. As many are. On paper, it probably came out to look like a well oiled machine. But in real life, it was a cluster. When the generator power is on, only some of the outlets work. The Crash cart draws a lot of power. You can get the picture... sort of like a Frankenstein movie!

    To add to the keystone cop routine we had going on, in our small hospital of 22 beds… there was another code at the same time. (must be karma!) and the ICU nurse tried to take our crash cart and code team during the middle of Mr stove pipe’s demise!

    Well, needless to say, Mr Stove pipe did not make it. We did get a rhytem back for a while. Probably due to all the drugs. We ended up bagging him till the end... since the ICU nurse was dealing with her own Code, and could not take a vented patient. She could not use her crash cart, since we had it…and she had to resort to using the OB crash cart, which was a LOT different than ours.

    Good thing that came out of this…. More outlets that work during a generator emergency. Standardized crash carts. And I don’t do post-generator rounds alone anymore!!!!
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 2, '09
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  3. About CathyLew

    CathyLew joined Dec '08 - from 'Armpit of New York'. Age: 47 CathyLew has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'MSP, Informatics'. Posts: 472 Likes: 739; Learn more about CathyLew by visiting their allnursesPage Website


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    6 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    That sounds like an interesting night. Can you bring that story to my hospital where.... wait for it folks............. YOU CAN TURN THE RED EMERGENCY OUTLETS OFF!!!!!!!!!!!! And no one in maintenance seems to think that this warrants a remodel!!!!
    DeLanaHarvickWannabe likes this.
  5. 0
    LOL! what I love is all our red emergency outlets have things like radios plugged into them! and we have full outlets that arn't even activated!

    or the glitch that the fire alarm triggers a strobe light that is outside the observation rooms where we keep siezure patients!!!! and a strobe triggers a sieure!!!
  6. 0
    Well thats an interesting one. Our red outlets in hallways can be turned off when the power goes out and when the generators come on you have to go physically flip a breaker..... really annoying when it happens and night and the one person that knows who to call to get it done isn't there. Yup, that'd be me. I tell other people but, ya know, nurses have too many other million things to remember so ...... hehe guess I know I'm needed.

    My favorite is when a visitor pushes open our automatic doors to the ICU, then they break...... Big sign that says "Caution Automatic Door" and right below it "Push pad on wall to enter" That wouldn't be the big neon flashing sign to NOT push on the doors would it! I've seen people staring straight at the sign and push anyway. Sometimes I want to ask if they can read.
  7. 0
    Quote from Princess_M83
    My favorite is when a visitor pushes open our automatic doors to the ICU, then they break...... Big sign that says "Caution Automatic Door" and right below it "Push pad on wall to enter" That wouldn't be the big neon flashing sign to NOT push on the doors would it! I've seen people staring straight at the sign and push anyway. Sometimes I want to ask if they can read.
    We have people do this to our emergency room door ALL the time! There's a sign on the door at eye level that says PUSH THE BUTTON TO THE LEFT.
  8. 0
    Quote from CathyLew
    Strangest lost one I ever had
    That is a creepy story!!
  9. 0
    Sounds like your hospital needs more code carts!


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