How to prevent fainting???

  1. 0
    I sat in the OR last week, and loved it! No problems at all! But today, I watched a bone marrow aspiration through the sternum, and had to leave the room and sit down! I have never come so close to fainting! :uhoh21: It was pretty graphic watching the doctor pound into his chest with everything, and the patient was awake and almost in tears, which really got to me. Is this something I can prevent? Wondering if it's something I'll just have to avoid in the future.

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  3. 30 Comments...

  4. 0
    I had the same experience last semester. Sat through one operation without any problem - then went in to watch a nephrectomy, and when they were doing the epidural anesthesia, I just knew that I was going to faint - or even worse, throw up!

    Tomorrow I have the choice of being the only student on the floor (peds) with my same 2 patients, or floating like the other students. Problem is, I have a cough, and I can't float to NICU, or PICU - so the only choice is, again, OR.

    I don't know if I should dare it again - or just be the only student on the floor with my FTT baby and nephrotic syndrome kid...

    Help guys!! Any advice?
  5. 2
    I don't know if this will help, but, I grew up w/ a dad that was a dentist and learned to assist in my early teens. I assisted w/ all types of oral surgery w/ no probs, and passed out one time during a routine filling. Some things I learned:

    Maintain blood sugar - eat a balanced meal/snack before rotation.
    Don't lock your knees (learned this at my sister's wedding. Minister's advice.)
    Don't identify with the patient too much. This is what I find is what "gets me" the most. Keep it clinical in your mind, breath deeply (through your mouth if there are funky odors).

    Don't be too hard on yourself. Some procedures take some getting use to.
  6. 0
    Can't help with the emotional aspect, but physically if you tense your upper body when you think you might pass out will help.
  7. 7
    Oh that's horrible guys! I DEFINETLY know what it's like to faint. As a student i was watching a TOE (trans oesophageal echo) and was in the treatment room holding the patients hand for support whilst he was under light sedation and all of a sudden the room got really hot and all i remember was the cardiologist saying to me "Rachel - look at the screen - here is the mitral valve" and the next thing I remember was waking up on a bed with my top half NAKED (yes - shirt and bra were CUT OFF!!!!). :uhoh21: I had been hooked up to what felt like a million leads and about 20 people were in the room looking over me- my educator and fellow students included! My BP dropped through the floor and i was GREY! I had actually wondered out of the treatment room (don't remember it) and out the door before collapsing in the hallway. A nurse had seen me stumble out and went to grab a wheelchair, but by the time she caught up to me i was out cold and non-responsive! In line with hospital protocol they called a CODE and I was under surveillance for 3 days!!! They were questioning whether i had long Q T syndrome but nothing has ever come from it.

    Another story - I was watching a trachy being suctioned and a great big green gob went flying across the room and hit the curtain -I fainted.

    And another story - Was watching a bone marrow aspration from the hip and as the Dr was "screwing" it in the hip like a corkscrew on a bottle of wine and the pt was screaming I fainted!

    One more story (oh yes i have HEAPS) I was at home at looking at my Mosby's medical dictionary and found a really gross picture which made me feel faint. I decided that I need a glass of water and went to get it but as i was passing my chest of draws in my bedroom fainted and smashed my nose. I needed a rhino-septoplasty and in hospital every time they tried to make me walk for the first 3 days I fainted. :uhoh21:

    What have i learnt?
    *When you feel faint SIT DOWN IMMEDIATELY (yes - even beside the patients bed on the floor)
    *Avoid trigger scenarios - I NEVER watch bone marrow aspirations (not even for a billion dollars) and VERY RARELY suction trachy's. :spew:
    * Drink a glass of water
    * Sit down for 10 minutes - and yes I mean 10 minutes in full
    * Wiggle your toes when you feel like you're going to drop
    * Start thinking about something COMPLETELY different - like your pet
    It's not that I think these things are yucky in my head, but something in my stomach does a complete flip and tenses up.

    It's not your fault - you can't help it!

    From one fainter to another GOOD LUCK!

    AnneF, llaura, Music_Box_Dancer, and 4 others like this.
  8. 0
    I have a question. What the heck are these patients doing freaking awake during these traumatic procedures? Holy camoly!


    I can't believe how angry I am about this.
    Last edit by z's playa on Feb 11, '05
  9. 0
    Quote from z's playa
    I have a question. What the heck are these patients doing freaking awake during these traumatic procedures? Holy camoly!


    Yeah I agree!! In my case the lady had light sedation which was increased as she was screaming. I was assured she wouldn't remember a thing! I'm not so convinced... I NEVER want a bone marrow aspiration!
  10. 0
    Quote from z's playa
    I have a question. What the heck are these patients doing freaking awake during these traumatic procedures? Holy camoly!


    I can't believe how angry I am about this.
    My instructor wondered the same thing! My poor man was not even sedated, just an injection for local numbness. The doctor told him he would feel "discomfort". From a metal tube being jammed into your sternum????? I think it got to me so bad b/c he was awake, and I couldn't detach myself from it. No bone marrow aspirations here, either, thanks. :smackingf
  11. 0
    Bone marrow aspirations are hard--I nearly fainted during one, but got out of the room and sat down fast. I blacked out once--was leaning against something and didn't go down--during a circumcision!!! I still hate them. A big part of the problem both days was that I was having my period, in a lot of pain, a bit nauseous [sp] anyway, and the proceedure just sent me over the edge!

    But I never had a problem in OR (we spent 4 wks, got to scrub and everything), it was too interesting!! Except the first case I scrubbed in on was a nose job, I could hear things crunching, and see him moving the instruments--it looked like there were weird things making the nose move in ways it wasn't supposed to! I felt fine, but was totally repulsed, so I told 'em I didn't feel so good and they excused me. Everything else, I absolutely loved!!

    So I guess I would have to add that if you're having your period, be more careful!!
  12. 1
    I guess I'm just weird. When I feel funny about something I look directly at it. And I start actively thinking. I detach myself from the emotional or the gross factor and just think like a scientist or something. (Then I hurl later on). LOL!
    sunkissed75 likes this.

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