Wednesday, 31 March 2010

This Time, Please!

This time, please let this time be different. Let this 18 year old survive. Altered consciousness, breathing noisy, Control have told me, as I rush to the scene of yet another RTC. As I negotiate the roundabout, and I see a motorcyclist swerve out of my way, my mind, inevitably turns to three hours earlier:

He was 17, only 17. Why he had come off his motorbike, no-one knew. There were no other vehicles involved, he just clipped a kerb and lost control. I wasn't called - it probably wouldn't have made a difference anyway. He might have been conscious on scene, but he wasn't right, according to the crew. He was very combatative, and very VERY pale. And then he had a cardiac arrest in the ambulance, six minutes away from the hospital. As I gathered the Trauma Team, I was in no doubt that this man would not survive, had in fact already died, even before he arrived in the hospital. But we worked on him anyway - he was only 17, after all. Into automatic mode, we tubed him, decompressed both sides of his chest, and poured in as much fluid as we could. Six minutes later, I called it, the inevitable end result. And then, I get the inevitable backlash, from all the staff: how could we have stopped so soon? He was only 17; we should have tried more, done more, spent more time. Doing what? Doing anything, comes back the answer. And this is from the nurses and from the doctors. Despite the fact that they all agree that the resuscitation attempt was futile, that he was dead before he arrived in the Department, they all still wanted to carry on, to throw all the resources, all the magic of resuscitation, to try to achieve the impossible. I leave the hospital with a heavy heart.

And, now, here I am, 3 hours later, hoping that, this time, there will be something, anything, that I can do.

1 comment:

  1. You responded. Rapidly. Sometimes that is all we can do. Sometmes, that is enough. Good luck, Doc.