5.28.2005

Someone you know

The paramedic run:

"This is rescue 257, on the scene with a middle aged Hispanic male with multiple GSWs (gun shot wounds) to the chest and abdomen. There is also a GSW to the left neck, left arm, and left buttock. The patient is agitated, but awake. Vitals are - BP 90 palpated, HR is 120, and his respirations are about 40, shallow. His skin is cool and clammy. We've established 2 large bore IVs. He's on oxygen NRB (non-rebreather). We have him in full spinal immobilization. You are our closest trauma center with an ETA of about 5 minutes."

5 minutes later this guy arrives as described. He is fighting, agitated, and altered. His respirations are weak/shallow, and breaths sounds on the left are diminished. His BP is low, and HR is fast (indicating shock).

We intubate him. Give him fluids. And undress him to see where the holes are. Since there are multple GSWs in the left chest....he needs a chest tube. Guess who gets to put it in??!! With no surgery residents to compete....we get to do everything.

I put in my first, unsupervised chest tube successfully on this guy. Before I have a chance to check the position via CXR, he is taken to the OR.

Later, maybe 2 hours later, I get a call from my mother. Hey, Marco (friend of the family) was just shot and taken to King.

Me: "I don't think so, we've only had one guy come in so far, and I got to put in the chest tube." with a sense of pride: yay for me!!

Her: "I'm sure he's there, I think he's in the OR"

Me: "Wait a minute....you mean my chest tube guy was Marco? No WAY!!"

It's such a trip when someone you know...comes into the ED as a trauma patient!!

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