Apologies to AD for stealing his subtitle for this post.
Yes folks, I know I'm a bad blogger and I don't post often enough. I need to start getting in the habit of jotting things down that I want to blog about. Anyhow, WhiteCoat put up a post today that reminded me of a call I did a few months back.
Nursing home calls are the bane of my existence. In my
This frail old woman was unresponsive, cyanotic (turning blue) with a weak slow pulse and agonal respirations. A check of her paperwork confirmed that she did have a current DNR order signed by her primary care physician. So my partner and I picked her up and placed her on our stretcher and wheeled her out to the ambulance. We both knew there was nothing that we or the ER could do for her and we both knew that the only therapy we could provide would be a smooth ride to the hospital. My partner was tending to the patient while I drove and he gave a report stating what we had found and that we were transporting at the son's request and at the ignorance of the nursing home staff. We delivered her to the ER and shortly after she died. Not in the comfort of the room that had been her home for the past few years but under the bright florescent lights of the trauma & resus room in the ER. Not with dignity and not with her loved ones by her side, but instead surrounded by paramedics and nurses and a doctor all discussing what to do. While everyone else in the room stood around and discussed what to do I pulled up a stool and sat down next to her and held her hand as life escaped her. I sat with her and prayed. I firmly believe that no one should ever die alone. The look of death on a patient's face sometimes reveals peace and sometimes reveals fear. No one should be afraid and no one should be alone. Thankfully the patient's son arrived just moments before she passed and he and I sat there, each on one side of the bed.
In the time that I have spent in
Be well & be safe.