Thursday, December 6, 2012

A stressful ending

First thing in the morning, on my last day of OB/GYN, my attending turned to me and said " You are going to have a great day. Today you will be able to assist on the very difficult C-section delivery of a 10lb baby. This will be a great ending experience for you." I was interested to see how this delivery would differ from all the others. How will the evaluation of the infant differ? The delivery ended up being much easier than anticipated with a baby weighing 10.2 lbs. I was allowed to suction the baby and hand it off to the neonatologist. And then....all went down hill.  Suddenly, mom nearly sat up gasping for air.

Wow wow wow slow down you say What???? Yes, if you don't know during a C-section moms are awake and they have a spinal block, so they are only numb from the waist down but they are perfectly conscious.

So back to my's airway was closing and fast. All chaos broke loose. The nurse ran back there trying to hold the patient down while the anesthesiologist tried to intubate her unsuccessfully. In a split second my doctor looked at me and ordered me to break the sterile field and get on the phone as I was the only one that could walk away from the field. I was given instruction to call a code and run back to the anesthesiologist and help him with what I could. Everything else is a blur. I can't talk about too much but I remember feeling scared and fighting back tears as I breathed for the patient. I remember thinking to myself how fragile life is and how quickly a happy moment turns into a horrific one. I had spent all day with this patient and I felt connected to her. In the end she pulled through and after a night in the ICU all was happy again. But I walked away a changed person. My appreciation for life and it's many complexities has deepened. So I walk away from OB/GYN and move on to Internal Medicine a changed woman and perhaps a better medical student.

No comments: