Posts Tagged TheCentralLine.org

Why I Made Emergency Medicine My Career by Mark Baker, MD, FACEP

 

What other jobs allow you to stay up all night long, party with crazy people, and get paid for it?

That’s what I like to say every New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve is my favorite shift, and it’s because of the people.

They are what keep me going in this career: the people, the crazy people, and I don’t mean just the patients.

Docs, nurses and techs all have to be a little bit loony to enjoy this job as well. It is the best job in the world! I come to work not knowing exactly what I will be doing, and even while working we never know what’s going to happen next.

Time-bombs are lurking in the humdrum of the daily routine. Our job is to identify them and defuse them. This keeps us on our toes, and this keeps me intrigued. When I can solve a medical puzzle, I am intellectually rewarded. When I can help someone I am gratified. When I can make a child smile I am happy. I can’t figure everything out or everybody out but I can sure have fun trying! This is why I continue my career of emergency medicine.

Why did I make it my career in the first place?

It looked exciting, isn’t that why we all chose it?

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ALIVE – AGAIN

ALIVE – AGAIN

By Bruce D Janiak, MD, FACEP

A 40-something female came into our ED with some confusion, low BP, and tachycardia. EKG and labs were normal, but she continued to deteriorate despite appropriate treatments. The cardiology fellow was with me when she arrested, and despite ACLS protocol, we were unsuccessful in our resuscitative efforts. She was pronounced dead.

As the cardiology fellow and I were discussing her case outside of the room, the monitor began to show a spontaneous rhythm. She regained a pulse and BP and was admitted. Later that day she arrested again and after unsuccessful efforts was pronounced dead (again)!

Then she revisited her Lazerus process and spontaneously recovered.

Some two weeks later she came to the ED to see me saying “Dr Janiak, thanks for your efforts. I could hear you guys talking about me during the whole resuscitative process”

(Yes, this really happened!)

 

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Bat In The Sack

 

By Constance Doyle, MD, FACEP

She came in with a chief complaint of “needs rabies shot”

Her story: She said she was placing clothes in the washer when something bit her on the hand.  She looked to see if her cat was in the washer and seeing that she was not, slammed the lid and ran the wash twice to be sure that whatever animal it was dead.

Then carefully looking through the clothes while putting the clothes in the dryer, she found a limp and dead bat which she fished out with kitchen dishwashing gloves.  At that point, she pulled a paper sack out of her handbag and set it on the counter.  We went on with the physical and discussion of rabies testing and vaccine, when I noticed the bag was slowly moving in and out like something was breathing and the sack was rattling.  I had visions of the creature getting out and flying all over the ER, being a nightmare to catch, exposing both staff and other patients as well as becoming a liability for the hospital.  The normal bat containers, empty paint cans were in storage, and I knew that someone would have to go to the locker and get one taking at least 15 minutes.   I needed a container now.  I ran next door to the trauma room and grabbed a large suction canister and lid and put the sack in it.  Now to humanely be sure that the bat was not a threat, we found a bottle of alcohol and poured it in through the suction hose connection.  At least it could die in an alcohol stupor.  The bag stopped moving and the paint canister arrived and the whole canister fit inside without opening it and off to the health department.

You just can’t make this stuff up!

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Starting “The Central Line”

Welcome to emergency medicine’s newest blog site, TheCentralLine.org. Hosted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, this site will include the opinions, ideas and experiences of emergency physicians.

Right now, health care reform is the hot topic, and on April 22, 2009  more than 400 ACEP members will go to Capitol Hill during the Leadership and Advocacy Conference to lobby their members of Congress. This site will cover that conference and report on the activities and responses of those attending, as well as the statements and positions of the policymakers and legislators who are scheduled to attend. Several emergency physicians will  also join the site and tell their stories first hand.

Join us and make The Central Line part of your daily blog experience.

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