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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sometime CPR really does work

So what is it?  One percent?  Actually, I think I saw a study recently that showed that as many as three percent of people who had CPR performed on them lived?  I think it's this percent that lived and had a somewhat normal quality of life afterwords.

Today I had a lady come into the emergency room.  She was in the passenger seat.  Her husband was driving.  She was on the phone talking to her brother.  She dropped the phone.  Her husband saw that something was wrong.  He pulled over.  He had a bystander call 911.  He started CPR.

Within 5 minutes the EMTs arrived.  The patient was in v-tach.  Shocked three times.  Gave four doses of epinephrine.  By the time I received the patient she was intubated and, of course, chest compression and breaths with 100% oxygen were being given.  She had no pulse.  No rhythm.

Ah, and just as the good doctor was about to call it, the patient took in a deep breath, started breathing on her own, and had a good rhythm of the heart.  No, she did not miraculously wake up like they do in the movies.  That, my good friends, never happens in real life.  So all those people who have "CPR but no vent" on their advanced directives are living in a pipe dream.

Anyway, we shipped her to another location and that's all I know of her.  Due to HIPPA I will never get an update.  That's unfortunate, because her follow up would be a good learning experience.

However, we did have a lady a few years ago in the same situation, and two weeks later she came in complaining of dizziness.  It was neat to see that she came out of it just fine.  I will never see this lady again, because she resides in another state and was just in town on vacation with her husband.

And yes, for you dunderheads who want to get me into trouble for writing about a patient, I did alter enough details so even the most anal person will have no clue which patient I'm referring to here.

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