Adrenaline intensifies the experience. Rather, “Epinephrine”, is the medically correct term.
It’s during a “code”, a word substituted for “cardiac arrest”, which is a descriptive term for the final common pathway for all causes of “death”, that one feels its effects sharply. It’s a funny word if you think about it.
My thoughts race as I run the white corridors. I am responsible for all that reside within the confines of these walls. Looking at them now as they surpass me by, one can’t help but make the heavenly association. My patient slowly drifts towards a white light and I run through it as fast as I can, fighting to save him, back to my white walls, my insane world.
“Attention, attention, attention, cardiac arrest five west”
Five West is the Gynecology floor and quickly I note to myself that they probably don’t know what to do in this situation. Doctors who care mainly for young patients rarely have to perform under the pressure of an arrest. Those more accustomed to this battle should volunteer to help.
So I did. Noting all the while, as I run full speed through the corridors, there is a young woman on the other end. White corridors, she is probably dead now. And I am violating hospital policy. “Slow down doctor, running is not allowed”. Who said rules are made to be broken?
“Epi, atropine, shock” I rehearse…
“Epi, atropine, rhythm” correcting myself. Sweat slowly accumulating on my brow. I need to join a gym. I can’t believe I’m thinking about this right now, distracted.
Chest compressions, intubate, continue chest compressions. I think codes look so great and exciting on television. Do we have a central line yet? Where the hell is Anesthesia?
The crash cart is open, there is blood on the floor, there is some on the bed and also on the doctors, their scrubs and the floor, again, I note. She is intubated and we continue chest compressions. There is some blood on my scrubs as well. Iodine is everywhere. Codes look peaceful on television.
Cardiopulmonary arrest is defined as the abrupt, unexpected cessation of spontaneous and effective ventilation and systemic perfusion (circulation). Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provides artificial ventilation and circulation until advanced life support can be provided and spontaneous circulation and ventilation can be restored.
CPR saves lives. Certain states now encourage the purchase of an automated external defibrillator by allowing a tax credit for this purchase. Please take a CPR course so that one day you may help another, and get the word out so that one day, someone may help you.