Malaysia: "Please, help my son! He is dying!"

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    Freshly off of graduation, I was placed as an in charge nurse of an Emergency Department. I will never forget the day when a father carried his son into the room covered in dripping blood. It changed my whole life. I'm sharing this incident with you hoping that it will encourage you to continue learning. To never give up and to make sure this is the career you want.

    "Please, help my son! He is dying!" - a middle aged man screamed as he entered the emergency room.

    I looked up and saw one little boy age of nine in his arm with so much blood on his body. The blood is whooshing from the boy's body ... at this point, I'm not sure where it's coming from. Oh, God!

    I guided the father to resuscitation room or red zone. Alerted the doctor and got help from ward's staff. Gave patient oxygen and set up all the cardiac monitor and blood pressure cuff. While doing everything I realize that there was a huge, deep, and open trauma on his back at the scapula region. I can see through it.

    I instructed the hospital assistant to help me press the wound to stop the bleeding. As I helped the doctor in assisting him in intubation. At this point, I thought only a miracle can stop the bleeding. A few minutes felt like hours - "Where is the other staff?"

    "Please I need help! I need someone to set the IV cannula! This boy is losing so much blood!" After successful intubation, I gave chest compression while the father was helping in giving manual ventilation through bag ventilation mask - with a lot of tears in his eyes while the doctor is trying to get vein for IV. An RN arrived, she stepped back after seeing so much blood. "Sorry, I can't stand to see all the blood." I was shocked when the words came out from her mouth.

    "Oh, My God! Help me please. Get me someone else!"

    Being new RN grad and working in this small center makes me have to work on myself really hard with a little experience. On that day, I'm working afternoon shift with two hospital assistant and one medical officer and it's on a holiday! I'm putting all my knowledge and what I learn through the three years of nursing school and clinical.

    The center that hired me is small but have a BIG sign of EMERGENCY 24 HOURS outside of the building with a bright light and you can saw it from 1000 meter far but the facilities and staffing is poor. That condition put my career and other patient's life in danger.

    I just graduated 8 month ago from nursing school and have only 6 months of working experience and they put me as in charge RN all by my own with one doctor and a hospital assistant who doesn't even know how to take blood pressure.

    This boy could have been saved if a proper management, fluid resuscitation, and controlling the bleeding by binding and compressing the wound. When the doctor gave instructions to stop the resuscitation I couldn't hold my tears.

    Now, after four years in nursing I never forget what happened on that day. I still think about the RN who chose not enter the resuscitation room cause of the bloody body. I remember blaming the hospital management for their poor management and staffing. I even blamed myself for the lack of knowledge and experience I had. I learned from his father that his son was hit by a car while cycling in their resident area and that day was the boy's birthday.

    Being a nurse and by choosing this career, we must be aware that we will be responsible for saving people. We need to accept that seeing blood is routine. Please don't sacrifice another person's life by choosing this career if you do not have the stomach for it.

    For those newly graduated RN, you will be facing 1001 kind of cases and incident through your career. Some will make you feel inadequate. Never give up. It's just another way for you to learn - to become a great nurse. Go on and never stop learning!

    I quit from the hospital and looking for new job at well organized center. Now, I'm in the middle of taking my Advance Emergency Medical Trauma Care certification and I never forget the incident that happen on that day. From that day, I promised myself to become the best nurse that I can be. A nurse who can handle any emergency conditions and save lives.
    Last edit by sirI on Sep 11, '12
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    About 7feetunder

    RN. From Malaysia. 25 years old. Working in Emergency Department and I'm proud to be one. In service, since 2008.

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 54; Likes: 39
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  3. by   spongekarl
    wow this definitely is a very unforgettable experience
  4. by   flanurs
    So proud of you for your thoughtful actions and commitment to your training. The world needs more professionals like you! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and best of luck to you!! NEVER GIVE UP.
  5. by   tokebi
    I am writing with tears right now... This story reminded me so vividly of a trauma that unfolded right in front of my eyes where I couldn't do anything. It screwed me up quite a bit afterwards but I took solace in that the victim recovered. I can't even imagine what it would've been if that weren't the case.

    In that sense, I admire your determination of not letting the tragedy break you but instead motivate you. Sometimes it seems as though all these tragic lost opportunities become the driving force of who we are as nurses. We can either become cynical of our capacity or strive to bring better outcomes. The choice is ours. Your story is such an inspiration to me.
  6. by   KKJA8855
    You are an incredible nurse!! Enough said. Thank you for being a good nurse and for putting others lives before your own feelings/emotions. Shame on that RN for not helping...what did she think she was getting into when she went into the nursing field? That it would be glamorous and the pay would be great? I'm a nursing student and your story has truly inspired me. Thank you.
  7. by   zephyr9
    I respect your courage to go on in the work you are doing. You have a lot of heart to turn your experience of the death of that boy into a cornerstone for growth.
  8. by   PeppaPig
    All I can say is Thank you.
    As a mother, a student, a professional, a patient...... just thank you.
  9. by   CeilingCat
    It sounds like this was very traumatic for you. I can see why such a moment stuck with you so long.

    The thing is that you don't know why the boy died. He never should've been hit in the first place. He should've been brought in by an ambulance who could've started treatment sooner. His injuries might've been too severe, even at a better hospital. Or for all anyone knows, he may have died in the days following, for example if infection had set in. Some things just happen, and we really can't know for sure why it happened. Try not to hold onto the blame you have for that employer. You were smart enough to recognize ways that ER could've been improved. But it's in no way your fault.
  10. by   geekynurseRN
    I still can't get over the RN that wouldn't help...
  11. by   MyGenesis
    Your story touched my heart! God bless you!
  12. by   roseonye
    Quote from geekynurseRN
    I still can't get over the RN that wouldn't help...
    i know. that RN needs to change career
  13. by   Tonks57
    Wow, I cannot believe that nurse. I am not even in clinical yet and if I saw someone bleeding out, I would automatically try to help stop the bleeding in any way that I can. Thank you for sharing, you are a wonderful nurse. God bless.
  14. by   tb1016
    You should be proud of yourself! You worked diligently on a very bad situation that rarely has a good outcome in the best of circumstances. I worked in a large inner city hospital trauma/emergency dept with all the resources and personnel at your fingertips and I also for a short time worked in a small community hospital emergency room. Cases like this belong in a trauma center and the sooner the better... unfortunately this father thought the closest emergency room is where he needs to be... as you described, resources are limited. I do question why after 6 months as a new nurse you were placed in that situation... that is not fair to you. As I said, be proud of your response to try to do what you could... the nurse "who couldn't handle all the blood" --- I ask why is she anywhere near any size emergency dept??? She needs to go work for some insurance company and get out of the way!