A child died this morningLet

Nurses General Nursing


Let me start by apologizing right now about the morbid story here but I just need to vent a little. I work as a Pedi charge nurse as many of you know on a Neuro unit. We have many deaths on our unit unfortunately due to the severity of our kids. These deaths are generally expecteed, but one happened last night that really got to me and I need to sound off about it so please bear with me.

In our facility all the charge nurses respond to all codes on the floors. Well last night I was sitting and talking to my fellow nurses when the overhead call came in about the code on the 12th floor. I ran up the stairs there and went into the room where the code was going on. The crash cart was there and one of the residents was in the room. I looked at the Lifepac to see what rhythm the kid was in seeing as he was blue already and I noticed the kid was not even hooked up to the leads, hell the damn monitor was not even turned on. I grabbed the leads and hooked him up while cpr was being done. noone even thought to do that. I also noticed that h8is IV was still on the pump and only going at 20 cc/hr with about 10 cc oin the buretrol. I had someone get a bag of NS while more people came in and took the fluid off the pump and spiked the new bag. By this time more people had aririved and we progressed with the code. The child did not make it. The code was called and we all left the room. We were standing in the hall just looking in the room while the doc told the mom that her son was dead. She just screamed for us to please go back in there and work some more and bring back her son to us. he was only 6 years old, and was only in for a T&A.

I saw that noone from the kids floor was going in to clean the room or the body so another nurse from a different floor looked at each other and just nodded and we both went in the room to clean it and him up so the mom could see her soon. thankfully a few other nurses pitched in and helped. We got him and the room cleaned and prepped in record time so the mom could be with her baby.

This is by far not the first death , and not the first child I have watched die, but this I think was the hardest as my youngest son is the same age as this child. You know what the worst part is...after all that I still do not know this childs name...so please hug your kids today...no matter how old they are or how mad they make you. I Know that 8i rushed home and hugged mine real tight before they left for the first day of school today and I will hug them real tight when they get home.

And please pray for this unknown child and his family. Let his mom find the courage she is going to need. Thanks for allowing me to be a little teary eyed about this and vent about this child that died this morning. Bless all.


p.s. sorry about the bad grammer and spelling...hard to type with blurry vision.


98 Posts

:o Dave, Sometimes I wonder why God takes them so young. You and the family of the unknown child are in my prayers. I will go home and hug each of my three kids real tight. Thanks for putting things in perspective. God bless.

That is just sad especially when you are dealing with children that are the exact same age or around the age of your own children. When things like that happen it makes you appreciate even the tinest things in life that your own kids do that may not please you or be what you want. I have said a special prayer for the mother and her family. I am only a nursing student starting my second semster and I am still learning so I do not know much about all the medical details you explained but it sounds like it was real bad what happened and things should have been started much eariler. I do know when kids go bad they go bad real fast and one has to be real quick about decisions and what they do. I am seriously thinking about becoming a pediatric nurse and stories like the one I just heard about scares me to pieces and makes me wonder. I know it is not all bad. I also know that it can be bad in the adult population too.


263 Posts

Thanks Dave, for the reminder of the frailties of life. It sounds like you did all you could do for this youngster.

I honestly don't think I could ever work peds. The very idea of facing another mother screaming with grief for her lost baby brings so much sorrow to my heart.

My prayers are with this child and his family. And a special prayer for you, too.


4 Posts

Dave, Thank you for the reminder to all of us that children are so precious. I was told when my young son died that God has a plan for them and us, I sometimes wonder. My prayers are with you and the family of the unknown child. May God bless.



12 Posts

My eyes are blurry and I have a lump in my throat. As you already know I am seriously considering peds. Thank you for posting your story. You are a wonderful example for all of us. I wish I wasn't at work right now so I could hug and squeeze and kiss my baby until he pushes me away to go run off and play with a toy. I am truly blessed and my prayers go out to the family and you. Take care.

katrina hays

4 Posts


I empathize with you and your feelings, last month I took care of a 14 year old who we ended up donoring. All day I wiped gray matter from the gsw in his head and threw his brain in the trash, that noc I came home to my children who are 18 and 14 and once again looked at them with new wonder and love. In the 10 years that I have worked trauma, burns and neuro many have been the times I come home and realize how important and special my life is that I am still able to kiss my children and tell them I Love You. I am also encouraged by the fact that after 20 years you have not lost the unique gift and true art of nursing; caring. I have had people say to me "it still bothers you after 10 yrs?". My reply is yes, and I am proud to admit it as my patients and families benefit greatly from my caring. Again I applaud you we need all the experienced and caring nurses we can find. I say prayers to the full moon and shooting stars (weird but it seems to work for me) I will remember your child by the next full moon, and every one after that......


648 Posts

I assume this was a post T & A bleed out? Bad, bad, bad. I've had awareness of two them; one died, the other lived brain damaged.

The worst when it's the same age as your own kid. I know you went home and gave your kids a hug and thanked God for each precious day, even the ones when you'd trade 'em for an old horse.

Everyone is in our thoughts and prayers.


6,011 Posts


Dave, I don't cry often. Today I did.

Ten years ago they decided our ortho unit needed to take peds. So they took 15 of our 30 beds and devoted them to peds. Well the ortho peds docs still went upstairs to the Children's Hospital.

We ended getting T&A, colostomy takedowns, appys etc. It was ok until our first and only child patient coded. He was a little 7 year old who went into septic shock.

They moved the peds patients back to CH upstairs about 6 months later. The docs tried to get us to keep them.......I'll take my "old babies-geris please."

You, your patient and his family have my deepest sympathy. Please remember that you did all you could do under those terrible circumstances.


216 Posts


I will definately pray for the child and his family, these stories really do put things into perspective for all of us. I am sure that the mother was thankful for all of your efforts before and after!! I am certainly going to hug my kids more often and tighter.

God bless,



9 Posts

I'm sorry--I have a son too the same age--I will pray. The poor child---if you have the credentials or get staff developement to go over code procedure for peds :o


288 Posts

I have the credentials...and we practice codes on peds all the time...we are nothing but peds here..751 beds of them

Thank you all for your kind responses...even a day later it still hurts thinking about this one.....


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