How many of your Pts have died in one shift

Nurses General Nursing


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417 Posts

Specializes in ccu cardiovascular.

About 2 years ago, after picking up my assignment from another nurse. A patient i was recieving, the monitor tech had told me was constantly ripping his monitor off. the nurse was told before report was over needed a new iv because he had ripped it off too. Before he left he told me the iv was fine. I had bad vibes went to check the patient myself after he left found patient alive barely, no iv, called a code and got him to the unit, he died later that night when his family made him a dnr. In the same room, a dnr patient with lung ca passed away, family had expected it. A little freaky two patients in same room. My boss joked about it and said "i hear your patients are dropping like flys" I felt like the angel of death. Thankgoodness nothing like that has happened again. I've have had two codes going on at once(when I was charge, not really my patients.) One with respiratory distress and one coming up from the er coded in the hall)

PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts

I work as a tech in an ICU. A few weeks ago we had three die from noon-6 pm.

Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 3,563 Posts

Three in one shift- inpt hospice unit.

Althought the deaths were expected, it still was no barrell of laughs that noc.


127 Posts

I try to save mine for the next shift...:chuckle

Specializes in Med-surg; OB/Well baby; pulmonology; RTS.

I have never had more than one patient pass away on any of my shifts. I have had up to 3 DNRs that I was scared they were all going to pass away while I was there.... :stone But they didn't.

Now on the day shift combined, we have had up to 4 deaths-all with different nurses-makes for a really bad day. :o


951 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Critical Care.

I've never had more than one a shift but I did work with a guy (in ICU) who had both of his two assigned patients die, took an admission and that patient died later that night (not actually on his shift). We got a lot of mileage out of that.

rhonda L

30 Posts

only one...........will always remember my first patient that died, really upset me try not to get too close and attatched.........but still care a lot for my patients


1,170 Posts

I work tele and greater than 14 years ago, I was on days, we had 2 codes and one near code all on one shift. The first one was at the beginning of day shift the patient was in PEA and died, the other two the near code and code happened at the same time around 2p. We had to get another crash cart from the unit down the hall. I think both of those made it. We left knowing that the next day couldn't be any worse!

Do you all have the saying that it happens iin 3's?


88 Posts

I had two deaths in one night....

I admitted trauma #1, a 15 year old girl with multisystem trauma r/t MVA rollover.... she went PEA 15 minutes after arrival, and we coded her for about 2 minutes before the family said to stop. There was nothing we could have done for her.

I admitted trauma #2 in the EXACT same room, an MVA.... died about an hour later.

I think the coroner got tired of hearing from me that night.


131 Posts

My one time most patients dying in one shift was 8. This was a 12 hour shift after christmas about 8 years ago in ICU. I was in charge so assisted the doc with the terminal weanings for 12 hours. No family wanted their family member to die on christmas so we kept em "alive" until the day after. The doc and I cried a lot that shift. There were some other deaths in the facility that day also so the morgue was full. Bodies were kept in the unit and picked up by funeral homes there. We ran out of body bags too so two were wrapped in sheets.

That was one piece of my ICU burn-out.

Doc and nurse team handled the families etc. Maybe a bad idea but it sounded reasonable at the time. One death in a shift is tough, but to know that you have to terminally wean 8 patients today really is hard to take. I thought that since I was in charge and I had adequate staff, I would not take an assignment but take each terminal wean patient as we worked through the day. Then the first nurse would be non stressed and could then take the first admission without assistance from me etc.....

Well by the end of the day the doc and I were both basket cases, we had been quite overwhelmed with the grief and emotions involved in this. These patients had been ready to die for days, but we had gotten to know their past and their families.

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