Friday, April 16, 2010


It was a usual Thursday night at work- I had the trauma room assignment as I was the strongest nurse on that night- no biggie, 4 regular rooms and THE room- where the bad stuff is brought in and we work like fiends to save a life-

I saw a tech running behind a wheelchair with a small petite black female- given the hospital I was in I though oh great, another OD....but I was wrong. Seems this woman suffered from some kind of heart problem. She had a defibrillator and pacemaker implanted into her chest. Her family had been at dinner up the street and the defib had fired 3 times. If you have never seen this, it is really quite scary- the whole body almost convulses from the shock. Anyway, they got her in the car and drove the 2 blocks to the ER. En route she goes into cardiac arrest.

We get her on the bed, cut clothes off and begin our attempt to resuscitate this lady. I am doing CPR, deep, strong fast compressions to encouraging her heart to beat. all of a sudden, my ass is 4 feet away from the stretcher, I am somewhat dazed. I feel like I am watching a movie. I hear people shouting and realize they are yelling at me. My left arm is numb, tingling, but I sense a weird pain at the same time, Somehow I pull myself together and return to the bedside and resume CPR.

It seems that her defibrillator determined it needed to fire, and it did, at somewhere between 30 and 50 joules. Bad thing is, as I was doing CPR, my stainless steel watch band slid down my arm, and made contact with the chest wall right as the shock was delivered- so I was defibrillated at the same time! Not something I recommend to anyone- well unless ya need it- and I promise to give you Versed!

Now, the reason I am pissed- the charge nurse, who was recording the code- drugs, interventions etc- made a comment to let me do CPR so no one else would get shocked- she figured 1 person was enough, wether I got shocked one time or multiple times. Secondly, the charge nurse nor the supervisor nor the physician ever asked if I was ok- My arm has throbbed for 3 days now and I have been in and out of a fog for the first 2 days. A doc friend of mine told me I should have at least be given an EKG right after and then one a few hours later not to mention having my cardiac markers drawn.

I am just so surprised a facility could be so uncaring toward the workers when our main function is to preserve life and limb..........


Teri said...

OMG! I can't even begin to believe that happened!
Still no one's said anything?

Anonymous said...

Was this at the wave?

karyn allen said...

nope- no way this was at the wave-