Fighting the Reaper

Yesterday me and mine fought a good fight against a stubborn adversary. We arrived at scene and we were guided to a patient in full arrest.

For those of you not in emergency medicine let me tell you that it is not initially exciting or thrilling in the normal sense of the words. There is a rush of adrenaline but we must take care to control its effects or risk having it derail our work.

In the past few evolutions of ACLS more emphasis has been put on CPR and keeping everyone on task. Someone isn’t doing correct CPR, correct them or rotate them out. Don’t concentrate on getting an intubation and neglect compressions. No need for time consuming IV, establish that IO.

We fought the grim reaper and we won.

During the call we have to be on task. During the call we are concentrating on not missing anything, not forgetting anything.

What is our CO2 reading? Can we do something about this new rhythm he converted to?

We fought Death and we beat it. We brought the patient back.

We celebrate after the call by thanking each other for the help. We retell the story to remind ourselves of our victory. We feel good, competent, but in the back of our minds we know we won a battle in a war we can not win forever.

Tomorrow we may battle against it again and it may not surrender. Tomorrow it may cut us.

But for today we made Death back down, and that’s all we can ask for.

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