I never seem to find what Im looking for,
Oh Lord, I pray that you give me strength to carry on,
'Cause I know what it means,
To walk along the lonely street of dreams.....
("Here I Go Again", Whitesnake)
Things are worse. The rain keeps coming and so does the sadness...
As you know from my last posting, we sent Mrs. Turnwater to the hospital. She was admitted, diagnosed with pneumonia, and has not been doing well.
Today Jenna, one of our home health aides who works part-time at the hospital, was helping Mrs. Turnwater take a bath and get into her robe. (Today was one of the days Jenna just happened to be working at the hospital, and she had been assigned to Mrs. Turnwater's ward.)
She said that Mrs. Turnwater was very glad to have her as her nursing assistant today (as all of our company's patients are when they're in the hospital, as it's so nice for them to have a familiar face to help them while in the uncomfortable environment of the hospital).
And then it happened.
Jenna was helping Mrs. Turnwater hobble over to a chair next to her bed after her bath, and Mrs. Turnwater suddenly grabbed Jenna with both arms, pinning Jenna's own arms. Then Mrs. Turnwater went unconcious and limp.
ACLS protocols are very difficult to learn and memorize, and one trained in them must know them so well that they can change from one protocol to the other at the drop of a hat in the middle of a Code Blue if the patient's status changes. Sometimes they must change protocols 5 or 6 times in a Code Blue....sometimes more....
They know that the statistics for bringing somebody back to life from performing a Code Blue are very poor. The statistics for "survival rates" for Code Blues are pretty bad. In some hospitals' statistics, out of all the Code Blue's they perform, their survival rates can range from only 37% to 57%, depending on the age and illness of the patient. And the survival rates for the elderly are extremely dismal. If I remember correctly, the survival rates for age 75 and older are only about 30%. And even if they do survive the code, they will most likely die shortly afterwards.
Sometimes codes can get very confusing among the team members for various reasons, for example if the team is not used to working together or else the patient's dying heart changes rhythms during the team's interventions, requiring the team members to change protocols in the middle of everything. Things can get crazy then....
I have seen code team members arguing during a Code Blue--- arguing about which drug to use next or which IV drip to hang. I've seen people tossing drug vials across the room, through the air, at each other--- to save the time it would take to run the drug over to the receiver. I've seen patient's IV's "go bad" in the middle of a code, necessitating the team to lose valuable time by having to start another IV. I've seen Code Blue situations so desperate that the team wasn't able to establish a working IV quickly enough and so they were forced to break open the vials of medicine and then drip it down the patient's throat in a REALLY last ditch effort to get the drug into the person's system as quickly as possible.
And when you shock a patient repeatedly with the defibrillator paddles, sometimes the patient's skin gets so burnt that it smells like cooking bacon, filling the room with a sickening, "pork-ish" aroma.
(I told them this morning:"Don't make me come in there....")
(And in regard to the picture at the top of this posting....Yes, it's true. You CAN really see "Spiderman 3" around here for 99 cents at the matinee. That little theater is in one of the tiny towns which my company services, about 20 miles from the office. Jane-Anne and I were in that town today putting up signs to advertise a Blood Pressure Clinic we're hosting next week and I couldn't resist snapping a picture in order to gloat at my sister, who lives in Dallas and has to pay about $8.50 to see a movie.....)