All the King’s men

Nothing.

That’s what we could have done differently.

“Witnessed arrest” is something you never get used to.

You can move quicker out the door, they could have called sooner, but when you get that gut feeling that the final moments have already started all you can do is anticipate the next 5-10 minutes.

All the while hoping the watching family understands why their loved one was alive when you got there and not when you left.

Then explaining to the ER docs that they were indeed conscious and talking in between the 40 breaths a minute, then lost visual focus and you watched the monitor go from 130 to 40, then to nothing.  Nothing at all.

Between the responders caring for this imaginary person there were over 70 years of ALS experience and duplicate state of the art tools and medications, procedures and techniques.

It happens, only when you least expect it.  So expect it.  It makes it easier to explain to the BLS members why your salary, fancy education and expensive equipment was useless to intervene in time.

Be safe.

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18 thoughts on “All the King’s men”

  1. These kinds of details are never easy. The last one wasn't and the next one won't be either. You carry on to the next one because you're a trained professional and a good man. Hug the fam a little tighter on days like these and days unlike them, for that matter.

  2. These kinds of details are never easy. The last one wasn’t and the next one won’t be either. You carry on to the next one because you’re a trained professional and a good man. Hug the fam a little tighter on days like these and days unlike them, for that matter.

  3. These kinds of details are never easy. The last one wasn't and the next one won't be either. You carry on to the next one because you're a trained professional and a good man. Hug the fam a little tighter on days like these and days unlike them, for that matter.

  4. The feeling after…sucks. And it’s not just the second guessing and whatnot that you and your immediate crew feel afterwards. When you get called by a review committee and they want to talk about *that patient*. This RN feels for you. I try to learn from these things and move on, but you really don’t “forget”.

    Thanks for the post that’s a *real* post.

  5. The feeling after…sucks. And it's not just the second guessing and whatnot that you and your immediate crew feel afterwards. When you get called by a review committee and they want to talk about *that patient*. This RN feels for you. I try to learn from these things and move on, but you really don't “forget”.

    Thanks for the post that's a *real* post.

  6. Hey Happy –

    Can't un-do the lifestyle choices made in the decades preceding your first [and only] meeting with a patient, which [here] result in the complete melt-down of a human-being.

    Doing what you can, with your crew, knowing the odds are doomed, at least TRYING, separates the pros from the posers.

    The family that watches this end-of-life scenario sees it and knows it, as does your audience .

  7. This is what we do. We don't like it, and we can't change it, but we do it. It sucks EVERY time, but tomorrow we may do it again. It's the other side of the good times, the false alarms, the ones where we see what needs to be done and then do it in plenty of time.
    But this is what always sucks. There are no “feel better” words that work, and no way around it. It sucks, we think about it for a few minutes, hours, perhaps days, then move on. Moving on is the hardest part of the job. The don't teach us much about moving on, do they?
    We each teach ourselves how to move on.
    Sorry man,
    Capt. Tom

  8. Hey Happy –

    Can’t un-do the lifestyle choices made in the decades preceding your first [and only] meeting with a patient, which [here] result in the complete melt-down of a human-being.

    Doing what you can, with your crew, knowing the odds are doomed, at least TRYING, separates the pros from the posers.

    The family that watches this end-of-life scenario sees it and knows it, as does your audience .

  9. This is what we do. We don’t like it, and we can’t change it, but we do it. It sucks EVERY time, but tomorrow we may do it again. It’s the other side of the good times, the false alarms, the ones where we see what needs to be done and then do it in plenty of time.
    But this is what always sucks. There are no “feel better” words that work, and no way around it. It sucks, we think about it for a few minutes, hours, perhaps days, then move on. Moving on is the hardest part of the job. The don’t teach us much about moving on, do they?
    We each teach ourselves how to move on.
    Sorry man,
    Capt. Tom

  10. Hey Happy –

    Can't un-do the lifestyle choices made in the decades preceding your first [and only] meeting with a patient, which [here] result in the complete melt-down of a human-being.

    Doing what you can, with your crew, knowing the odds are doomed, at least TRYING, separates the pros from the posers.

    The family that watches this end-of-life scenario sees it and knows it, as does your audience .

  11. This is what we do. We don't like it, and we can't change it, but we do it. It sucks EVERY time, but tomorrow we may do it again. It's the other side of the good times, the false alarms, the ones where we see what needs to be done and then do it in plenty of time.
    But this is what always sucks. There are no “feel better” words that work, and no way around it. It sucks, we think about it for a few minutes, hours, perhaps days, then move on. Moving on is the hardest part of the job. The don't teach us much about moving on, do they?
    We each teach ourselves how to move on.
    Sorry man,
    Capt. Tom

  12. Hey Happy –

    Can't un-do the lifestyle choices made in the decades preceding your first [and only] meeting with a patient, which [here] result in the complete melt-down of a human-being.

    Doing what you can, with your crew, knowing the odds are doomed, at least TRYING, separates the pros from the posers.

    The family that watches this end-of-life scenario sees it and knows it, as does your audience .

  13. This is what we do. We don't like it, and we can't change it, but we do it. It sucks EVERY time, but tomorrow we may do it again. It's the other side of the good times, the false alarms, the ones where we see what needs to be done and then do it in plenty of time.
    But this is what always sucks. There are no “feel better” words that work, and no way around it. It sucks, we think about it for a few minutes, hours, perhaps days, then move on. Moving on is the hardest part of the job. The don't teach us much about moving on, do they?
    We each teach ourselves how to move on.
    Sorry man,
    Capt. Tom

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