One was a 3 year old who had a severe anaphylactic reaction at an outpatient office. He arrested and at the ER they were able to get a rhythm, but by then there was no brain function. The declared and took him off support yesterday.
The second was a chronic kid on our unit, not even 2 yet with multiple issues including hydrocephalus, cardiomyopathy and pulmonary hypertension. He was sedated and intubated for a procedure and didn't respond well to the sedation- bradycardic, hypoxic, bottomed out his bp. They rushed him to PICU and we worked on him for nearly two hours. Even maxed out of vasoactive medications he could not maintain a pulse or perfusion without compressions and he didn't make it. This was a kid who had bounced between PICU and peds for months. I took care of him just last week- rocked him to sleep on my lap. He was so sweet, but had such a hard life. It was the first code I had been involved in where the patient didn't make it and it was very emotional for all of us.
Then, to top it all off, another one of our babies went bradycardic and hypoxic right at change of shift. He needed to be intubated and required atropine.
Needless to say, none of the day shift nurses left on time yesterday. It was such an emotionally grinding day and I came home and cried for awhile. This wasn't my first loss as a PICU nurse, but it was my first where I had been so involved in the code and the patient's care in the past. I just needed to reach out to those of you whom I know will understand.