new nurse dead at 23

  1. I am in shock! Last May started to work as RN with this very nice 23 yo guy. He had just graduated also.

    Found out Monday that he was in ICU on vent. Found out yesterday that he died on Tuesday. Nursing assistant that had his same group of patient's is in another area hospital in ICU, not sure if she is on vent. We do not still work at same facility so details that I have are very limited. All I know is that CDC is at hospital, they are speculating that whatever he had in lungs came from patient with MRSA/leg wound. He presented to hospital with flu like symptoms and within hours white count dropped to 0. All body systems shut down very quickly.

    Does anyone have any idea what this could have been? I have been so sad, because he was such a great guy with such a bright future ahead of him. Thanks for any responses made to this troubling question.
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    About RN@34

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 44; Likes: 2
    Staff RN


  3. by   traumaRUs
    How sad. My immediate thought was some type of meningitis or overwhelming sepsis.
  4. by   elkpark
    This reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with my sister (a travel agent) who was complaining that she didn't think it was justified that nurses (like, oh, say, ME) got paid so much -- after all, she said, "It's not like you risk your lives for the public, like police officers or fire fighters." At the time of the conversation, I was working on an infectious disease ward at a VA where most of the vets we admitted had three or four different kinds of creeping crud that we didn't even have names for, let alone know for sure how to protect ourselves from them! I really tore into my sister -- pointed out that YES, we do put our lives on the line for the public on a regular basis; it's (usually) not as dramatic and immediate as walking into a burning building, but the risk is just as real!

    I agree that your friend's situation sounds like it could have been some sort of massive, generalized sepsis.
  5. by   Katnip
    How very sad. It can happen to anybody. The best you can do is always use proper precautions, no matter how much of a pain it is. Still, even that carries no guarantee of protection.
  6. by   NurseMatt
    That is very sad.

    On the note of dangerious job. Don't you think per minute by danger, that we as LPN/RN, etc. are in danger much more than other emergency positions? No disrespect to any careers of course, but I have witnessed some positions in action and the medical careers are ALWAYS active and very hands on in the thick of it.
  7. by   Jessy_RN
    I am truly sorry to hear this.
  8. by   RN@34
    Thanks for all of your responses. They have labeled it as community acquired MRSA. How it ended up in his lungs has yet to be determined.
  9. by   Serenyd
    I knew him - he was in my nursing class. Graduated with him last may. I can't believe he's gone. Very sobering. It really made me think about how dangerous nursing can be. Our class was small, about 28 students, and already this happens in just 6 months since graduation.

    He was very well liked. I can't think of one person he didn't get along with. He was elected student government president our 2nd year and was an enthusiastic leader. He made sure our pictures got taken at graduation so our class would have photographs to hang on the wall at our nursing school. Not something he had to do, but he did. I just remember, he cared. He put a lot of effort into his assignments while we were in school and I know he would be a nurse who would give his all to the nursing profession, and really be a credit to it. It's a shame that we lost him.
  10. by   Judee Smudee
    Quote from RN@34
    Thanks for all of your responses. They have labeled it as community acquired MRSA. How it ended up in his lungs has yet to be determined.
    "Community acquired MRSA" hmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
  11. by   scampi710
    How totally tragic. Been an RN,BSN for 28 years, and for all of those years I have been saying that we should have hazardous duty benefits.
    Can't even begin to describe how much comes through the ED doors.

    To rubricize: one night we were overwhelmed as usual. Had a very ill ped in a surgical room. I alerted the ER Doc. He went in there immedicately, did the PE without gloves or protection, exposed to all bodily fluids, etc. A few days later labs came back HIV POSITIVE. This was in a very wealthy geographical demographic. The year was 1980.

    Don't even have to elaborate on what I've seen in poor regions.

    And yes, to everyone with whom I come in contact on a personal interaction, I stress to them that we are indeed in danger all day at work, and then can bring whatever we come in contact with to our homes, on our shoes, our scrubs, our jewelry, etc.

    And WHY would we want to return to nursing caps since it has already been proven that they are vectors to deadly pathogenic organisms? (From another thread).
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Judee Smudee
    "Community acquired MRSA" hmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
    I'll bet most of the community is already colonized.

  13. by   zacarias
    This is sad. There had to be something else going on...maybe he was severely immunosuppressed prior to being exposed to MRSA. I mean we all are exposed to nasty germs but to just get MRSA pneumonia from taking care of a MRSA-infected wound? Who knows what really happened...
  14. by   NaomieRN
    I sorry about the passing of the young guy.