Loss

  1. We lost a pt last night. She presented to triage for a labor check and was getting up to ambulate when her water broke. So she was admitted. VE was 1/60/-1. Not long after, like an hour, she appeared to have a seizure, FHR was in the 70's, VE was 10/100/0. We managed to get the baby delivered vaginally with the help of vacuum, and forceps, despite Mom alternating between combative and unresponsive. Baby was resuscitated with CPR, and eventually transferred to a Level III on a vent.

    Mom crashed. She was intubated 10 min after delivery, bradied down, ACLS protocol began. She was announced an hour and 15 min after delivery. We think, at this point, she may have had an amniotic fluid embolus, since she did panic before the "seizure." Somehow we managed to hold it all together and do the best we could. But once the code team got there and took over, I think most of us L&D nurses were just so overwhelmed. It's one thing to watch a code on an 85 yr. old, but for a 30 something Mom who just delivered her 3rd baby........... I'm still having a hard time coming to grips with this. People just don't die in childbirth, you know?

    The hardest part was listening to the screams of her daughters, both under 13. I just can't imagine what this family went through. Coming to the hosp, expecting to hear about a new baby, and being told that the mother is dead. None of them knew until they got there. And to hear each one of them respond to the news, was heartbreaking. I hope that I never, ever have to deal with this again.
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    Oh Carla... I am SO sorry to hear this ! I hate that you had to experience such a tragedy... and the poor family... those daughters... horrible !!!

    Please take time for yourself, seek counseling if you feel it would help... I cannot begin to imagine how devastating this would be for ALL concerned.

    Big, warm, loving (((HUGS))) extended your way.
  4. by   imenid37
    My worst nightmare. My prayers are w/ you and the family. This is so sad. Please get together as a group(staff) to talk it through. You guys did your best. What an awful shock.
  5. by   live4today
    oh my! how horrible and painful for that family! i will keep them in prayer. did the baby survive so far? mercy, mercy, mercy! what a tragedy!
  6. by   fergus51
    I am so so sorry to hear this. With all our advances in medical care it's easy to go through our whole careers without losing a mom. When it happens, it's just so tragic.
  7. by   lynn27
    L&D RN OH, I am so terribly sorry to hear of this. My heart goes out to the patient, the patient's family and you as well as your fellow nurses on L&D. This is my nightmare on L&D. I hope her little one is doing well...gosh, I just can't imagine the sorrow and pain. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    As a labor/delivery nurse, I can't say how sorry I am to hear this .....what a tragic loss for her family and for you. I am so sorry.

    I hope your manager sets up a "debriefing" for each person involved. This is really really important. And it needs to be fairly soon after this major event for it to really be helpful.

    And yes, make sure you get some counseling, even if only one session, to get it "out". I can't say how important this is for you to be able to heal and move on. Please, if your manager does not suggest it, (the debriefing/session with a grief specialist/social worker who specializes in this sort of thing), make sure YOU do. The shock and anger after situations like this can be devastating for all involved, nurses, doctors, whoever was there. It is very helpful for all who were involved to get together as a group and talk about what happened and how each feels, as well as how and where and how to go on from here.

    HUGS.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 20, '04
  9. by   gypsyatheart
    I am so sorry! That is such a horrible thing to have happen. What a nightmare! This is something we all shudder to think of happenning. I hope the baby is doing well.
  10. by   Tweety
    L&D is "supposed" to be a happy place. It must be tough when tragedy strikes.

    I used you hear the wails of agony from family members when I worked on a unit whose sister crticial care waiting room was right outside the nurses station (they mercifully moved it). It's especially tough when young ones go, and they leave behind little ones.

    Hugs.
  11. by   callacodebrown
    Hearing this breaks my heart--it seem en vogue to have your baby delievered either at home or a non-medical facility by midwives. I have never been able to understand why so many people do this when so much can go wrong. It just doesn't seem worth the risk to me.
  12. by   gwenith
    I work in an ICU that serves one of the busiest maternity hospitals in Aust. I know where you are coming from. Trouble is no-one expects maternal deaths these days and so are totally unprepared for it. Total tragedy. Try not to feel guilty (hard I know) but amniotic emboli are everyone's nightmare and just so hard to treat. I will back those that said - the staff NEED counselling and greif therapy.
  13. by   Dave ARNP
    This is so completely tragic. L&D just isn't the place this is susposed to happen.
    I hope that you all have some time to regroup and cope with your loss.

    My prayers are with you.

    Dave
  14. by   traumaRUs
    So very sorry for you and your co-workers. Please consider a critical incident stress debriefing. Contact someone in the ER of your hospital and they can usually arrange it. I am so sorry!

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