I Lost a Patient Today

Shared by Code 9 – Heroes and Families United

This is written by a nurse who bravely went to New York to help. The following is heartbreaking and may be triggering for some. The reason I am posting this is that some of these healthcare workers will develop PTSD and we need to be there for them. We will help in any way we can.

I lost a patient today. He was not the first, and unfortunately, he’s definitely not the last. But he was different. I’ve been an ER nurse my entire career, but in New York, I find myself in the ICU. At this point, there’s not really anywhere in the hospital that isn’t ICU, all COVID 19 positive. They are desperate for nurses who can titrate critical medication drips and troubleshoot NBC [Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical – types of mass-casualty weapons].

I’ve taken care of this man the last three nights, a first for me. In the ER, I rarely keep patients for even one 12 hour shift. His entire two-week stay had been rough for him, but last night was the worst. I spent the first six hours of my shift not really leaving his room. By the end, with so many medications infusing at their maximum, I was begging the doctor to call his family and let them know. “He’s not going to make it,” I said. The poor doctors are so busy running from code to code, being pulled by emergent patients every minute. All I could think of was the voice of my mom in my head, crying as I got on the plane to leave for this place: “Those people are alone, you take good care of them”. I was the only person in that room for three nights in a row, fighting as hard as I could to keep this man alive. The doctor was able to reach the family, update them. It was decided that when his heart inevitably stopped we wouldn’t try to restart it. There just wasn’t anything else left to do. Continue reading