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Code Blue Experiences

Nurses   (21,693 Views 46 Comments)
by Nurse0621 Nurse0621 (New Member) New Member

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I've only been a nurse for 2 years. Every code I've attended never made it. One patient after 30-40 minutes of CPR and lots of drugs finally went into a rhythm. Transferred to icu. Later, heard two code blues on the page system. dude didn't make it. At my hospital, besides 1. CPR 2. Lots of drugs 3. intubation 4. Paddles, there is not much we can do for them. sad.

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Biffbradford specializes in ICU.

10,017 Visitors; 1,097 Posts

I remember one pt of mine that we coded in the ICU who was already very 'sick', multiple heavy supports, IABP, intubated, etc. After loading him up with all the ACLS drugs for some 45 mins, it was futile so the doc called it and everybody left. I guess I was so busy doing other things, and no one else thought of it, but nobody turned the monitor off and some 10 minutes later he got a rhythm again! (PEA) :eek: Oh man! ... so, dutifully I called the surgeon back and he simply said: "Okay, turn the monitor off. Thank you." :o RIP

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evilolive has 6 years experience and specializes in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC.

4,469 Visitors; 193 Posts

I've been through quite a few codes in my short time on a medical floor. We have had one frequent flyer who has coded at least 3-4 times on our floor. I remember she was a transfer from SICU at the beginning of my shift (my patient). I had already reported off on her to the day shift, went to the back room to get my things, walked slowly by her room and poked in as I was leaving... and yeah, she was bluish and agonally breathing. That was a quick successful code, she was off the floor within a half hour.

Another time (of course at change of shift again) we coded a woman for about a half hour... I had never been so happy to see day shift workers come in for support. That was a nice smooth code as well. Patient went to heaven.

Only a few times have I seen out of control codes with something like 20 people just hanging around in the way. Most of the time at night they are well-controlled at night. I must say, I love when a specific doc runs the codes, he stays so calm and is very clear in his orders. Love Dr. G.

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turnforthenurse has 7 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in ER, progressive care.

36,289 Visitors; 3,364 Posts

My first code blue was when I was a student in the ICU. Coded a few times in the ER, came up to us and I heard the page "code blue: MICU" so of course everyone gathered outside of the room along with me and the rest of my clinical group. We all took turns doing chest compressions. The experience itself was cool (I even felt his bones cracking while I was giving chest compressions!) even though I felt bad for the patient. The patient didn't survive.

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5,560 Visitors; 359 Posts

Sadly, the only code I've ever seen was the one involving my 11 week old son.(I of course, was observing this as a mother, not as a nurse.) Worked just enough for him to be on life support for 5 days before passing away. Worst time of my life. I was actually the one that started CPR on him at our home. First and only time I've ever done CPR. He passed away on 1/31/08, so this Sunday will be three years.

May you take comfort in knowing there is angel watching over you. I am sorry for your loss.

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Christy1019 has 11 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency/Trauma/Critical Care Nursing.

17,845 Visitors; 878 Posts

One of the weirdest codes I saw was a guy on a tall stretcher, new but excellent nurse on his right side, me on his Left side, he goes into V-fib and started siezing or going decorticate. Monitor and paddles by the new nurse who'd never been in a code. Several of us had to hold him down while I told her how to charge the paddles, hand me 1 (she couldn't reach proper placement for both) told her where to press her paddle, told everybody to let go on 2, and the other nurse to press the red button on 3. One shock, no staff got zapped, patient went into nice sinus rhythm at a descent rate, doctor walked out of the room mumbling something about writing a paper for American Heart on 2 man defibrilation. Complete save and turf to cath lab. If Kerry reads this, you're the best. Paul.:up:

Just wondering.... does ur facility really still use defib PADDLES? Or did that happen a while ago? Lol. :cool:

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traumagirll99 specializes in er,cvicu,icu.

2,405 Visitors; 36 Posts

Probably wasn't the most dramatic code i been in but it was certainly the one that seemed to be the most chaotic....I had brought a pt up to one of our med/surg floors from the ED and was standing at the nurse's station talking to the charge nurse when I heard someone yell for help down the hall. we both took off and came to the doorway of a room and what i saw was an empty bed and the PCT on the other side of the room saying she fell. rounded the bed and saw a woman who weighed I later found out 450# laying face down in the floor in front of a recliner beside the bed. the poor PCT who probably weighed around 100# was trying to roll the pt over, not happening obviously. It took all 3 of us to roll her over, in the meantime somebody had called the code and the room was filling up with people. We got the pt on her back and being ascute ED nurse that I am, I saw her color, kind of eggplant and said the first thing that came to mind,,,crap she's blue. So there we are in the floor with a large pt who is eggplant color,wedged between the bed and wall with a recliner at my back and a med student at her head, who is yelling....ambu bag ambu bag...the nurse from the floor says wait she's breathing..well if you want to call it breathing i call it agonal resp..the resident in the doorway who was trying to get in the room and i at the same time said "not for long"..so somebody threw an ambu bag at the med student and he started bagging...and then i pointed out that it would be more effective hooked up to oxygen....mind you we are attaching defib pads, looking for an iv (since the pt was kind enough to pull her's out in the fall) and doing compressions all the time while the comedy of errors continued...due to the really crappy place the pt chose to code space was limited so essentially there were 3 nurses in the floor,a med student, resp and a resident....everybody else was trying to pull the bed out of the room so that we could move the pt..but unfortunately the pt had one of those bariatric beds that expand on the sides, and have you ever tried to move one of those out of a room? not the easiest thing to do....anyway we are bagging, and compressing, got the iv the pt was in asystole so thank god we didn't have to defib.....the resident is trying to intubate but the pt had no neck to speak up due to her size.....she starts yelling for anesth. to come and try..thank god he was out in the hallway having come when the code was called like a good man.....he comes in tubes the pt..we are pushing epi and atropine...and we got a pulse back...a slow brady but a rhythm at least...the bed is out ..the pt has a pulse, a b/p and is being bagged...now we have to get her onto a bed/stretcher to transport to ICU......long story short it took about 7 of us to get her off the floor onto the bariatric stretcher.....i made it back downstairs after they wheeled her off...and the first thing i hear is....."we heard the code called....didn't need any help did you?"....it was the most ***** code i have ever been in...but man she made it...

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lckrn2pa has 19 years experience and specializes in ER.

3,533 Visitors; 167 Posts

working a code years ago in a small 5 bed ER and usually the floor (we only had one floor) charge and ICU nurse would come over to help (we only had 2 nurses in the ER) and this day a new grad was working the floor and came over. She was doing compressions and was a few minutes into it and I'm to her right at head of bed bagging pt (no RT, like I said, smmmaalll hospital) and out of the blue she tells me to stop messing with her butt. Me with a confused look, leans back and the way she is positioned with the guys arm behind her and with every compression his arm adducts and hand taps her on the butt.

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Penelope_Pitstop has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN.

45,609 Visitors; 2,365 Posts

I've participated in codes in which the patient "made it," at least through that code; however, none of those patients left the hospital alive.

They were various ages, with various diagnoses, and some of them were on the more "expected" side. (Meaning we had the cart ready and pads on patient, all appropriate personnel at bedside, etc.)

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sissiesmama has 22 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG.

21,605 Visitors; 1,893 Posts

I've been a nurse sine 91, and I have worked quite a few codes. I work in the ER in a large hospital and usually go as the "Code nurse" for codes on the floor.

I was working on a tele unit and had a man s/p FOB. He was begging for coffee, but acc to the MD orders, he was NPO for maybe 30 more minutes. I told him I would have a good cup of coffee as soon as the time was up. He smiled and said ok. As I was leaving the room, (his room was directly in front of the station and monitors) the tech asked me to check his leads, "because he looked like he was asystole." Back to the bedside, I found that it wasn't a lead, he was coding. Called the code, and he went at least 2 minutes in asystole.

As fast as he crashed, he came right back, and was fighting the ambu bag. "What are u trying to do, kill me??" I told him what happened, and he didn't believe me. Finally I showed him the strip that ran in the code. Freaked him out -

A few hours later, I was in the cafeteria getting lunch and the operator called code blue to my guys room. Didn't take just a minute to get there, and it was the same as earlier. Came right back, and cardiologist took him for a pacemaker implant.

The next day, I got to roll him out in a w/c to go home. I had NEVER seen anything like that, and freaked that he was getting out so soon, after coding twice in 12 hours. When he was getting in the seat, he turned to me and said "If only you were 30 yrs older, I'd marry you and take you home with me." What a great patient - I loved the fact that he did so well and got out. He definetly put a smile on my face that day!

Anne, RNC:w00t:

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