Heart breaking first shift in NICU

  1. Last night was my first actual shift in the NICU. The night was looking to be pretty uneventful...our patients were 34 wk feeder/grower twins. Following our 2 am feedings it appeared we would have a few hours of downtime. My preceptor suggested I attend a STAT c-section of a mom of a 34 weeker who hadnt felt her baby move in several hours. The fetal heart tones showed almost no variability with a rate of 100. We waited in the recovery room next to the OR for baby to be delivered with the nervous father. When baby came in he didnt't make a sound. Upon immediate assessment he had no pulse or lung movement. Then began 30 min of intubating, pushing epi, chest compressions, IV access attempts. That little boy never responded to a thing as dad watched from the back of the room with tears flowing from his eyes. Finally mom came in and gave the order to stop all measures, god forbid his heart would have started beating after 30 min on the table... He was baptized while every medical professional in the room recited the lord's prayer and then we all stepped back and let him go. How's that for my first shift in the NICU?
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    About MrsNicuNurse

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 14; Likes: 7
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 1+ year(s) of experience in Med-surg, NICU


  3. by   sapphire18
    Wow, that is intense. (((hugs))) Welcome to the reality of the ICU:/
  4. by   MrsNicuNurse
    Yep sapphire, such a sad reality. Yet I still wouldn't give up my job for anything.
  5. by   aspiringmidwife76
    So sorry this happened on your first week in NICU. But being able to be a part in this will help to make you a better RN. We all know there are some bad outcomes, but from these outcomes we do learn. ((Hugs)) You will make a strong NICU nurse.
  6. by   harrird
    God Bless. I know that was tough.
  7. by   artsmom
    This is why I couldn't do that job. That almost made me cry. I love my old people, and when they die, I never cry.
  8. by   HippyDippyLPN
    good lord I couldnt do that. I am so glad there are nurses out there like yourself who can! I am sure for every one you loose there will be so many you save, just try to keep that in mind on days like that.
  9. by   Bortaz, RN
    I'll never forget the first baby I lost. Or really, any of them.

    It's often a rude awakening for new NICU nurses, some of whom have this image of sweet babies being cuddled. The NICU is an ugly place sometimes, but I love it. Even on the nights where we can't save them.
  10. by   Susan Cook
    I am an emergency room nurse and have been directly involved with resucitative efforts on a 9 week old baby boy and most recently a 6 year old drowning victim. One was successful and one not. I take both these children along with me in my life and nursing practice. I remember their names and at times I think of them. I wonder how the little baby is doing and what milestones he has mastered. I think of the parents and family of the little boy who drowned and pray they find peace. These situations are very difficult. Never underestimate the impact they have on you. It wasn't until a few weeks after the successful resucitation that I broke down and cried over what I had experienced. You see it was a miracle that this baby came back and came back completely (EEG normal). It was a moment in my life where I knew God was in the room and had a hand on this baby. Good luck to you in the NICU. Make sure you balance your life with pleasure and activities that take care of the other you, the one not dressed in scrubs.
  11. by   Carefreeliving
    I'm not a NICU nurse, but we all as nurses have days like this. Stay strong and make sure you talk it out with someone.

    Chin up, dear. ::hugs::
  12. by   babyNP.
    I was once in a really crummy mood and I was getting report and saw the nurse had this picture of two parents holding their baby and smiling. But the kid had died. "Did they not know he wasn't going to make it?" "No, they just thought that he would go immediately after we took off support, but they got to give him a bath and hold him alive without any machines before he went. They were so happy to have that time with him."

    enormous reality check for me.