We lost a pt last night. She presented to triage for a labor check and was getting up to ambulate when her water broke. So she was admitted. VE was 1/60/-1. Not long after, like an hour, she appeared to have a seizure, FHR was in the 70's, VE was 10/100/0. We managed to get the baby delivered vaginally with the help of vacuum, and forceps, despite Mom alternating between combative and unresponsive. Baby was resuscitated with CPR, and eventually transferred to a Level III on a vent.
Mom crashed. She was intubated 10 min after delivery, bradied down, ACLS protocol began. She was announced an hour and 15 min after delivery. We think, at this point, she may have had an amniotic fluid embolus, since she did panic before the "seizure." Somehow we managed to hold it all together and do the best we could. But once the code team got there and took over, I think most of us L&D nurses were just so overwhelmed. It's one thing to watch a code on an 85 yr. old, but for a 30 something Mom who just delivered her 3rd baby........... I'm still having a hard time coming to grips with this. People just don't die in childbirth, you know?
The hardest part was listening to the screams of her daughters, both under 13. I just can't imagine what this family went through. Coming to the hosp, expecting to hear about a new baby, and being told that the mother is dead. None of them knew until they got there. And to hear each one of them respond to the news, was heartbreaking. I hope that I never, ever have to deal with this again.
Feb 20, '04
As a labor/delivery nurse, I can't say how sorry I am to hear this .....what a tragic loss for her family and for you. I am so sorry.
I hope your manager sets up a "debriefing" for each person involved. This is really really important. And it needs to be fairly soon after this major event for it to really be helpful.
And yes, make sure you get some counseling, even if only one session, to get it "out". I can't say how important this is for you to be able to heal and move on. Please, if your manager does not suggest it, (the debriefing/session with a grief specialist/social worker who specializes in this sort of thing), make sure YOU do. The shock and anger after situations like this can be devastating for all involved, nurses, doctors, whoever was there. It is very helpful for all who were involved to get together as a group and talk about what happened and how each feels, as well as how and where and how to go on from here.
Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 20, '04