First Flatline

After my day off yesterday, I am welcomed by a critical patient needing continuous monitoring. We divided the patient load and I was assigned to one critical patient alongside three others requiring moderate care. It was 2 o’clock.

I knew the patient since I was the one who received her for admission the other day. She was stable then. But now, she is on assisted ventilation. tsk. This would be a hard day (or afternoon)  I should say.

After 2 hours, the patient had respiratory arrest, but was revived. Thankfully, the CPR and the medications given worked their way and kept the baby alive. Monitoring was every 15 minutes.

After an hour or so, comes the second. CPR was done again and more meds were given. The doctors were exhausted this time. The mother was breaking down. She was the only one there. Her husband was still at work and have just been informed about it. She started to cry. With each round of chest compressions, the baby is slipping slowly to death.

More medications were loaded and the baby showed signs of life.

It was around 8 when the baby had another arrest. The baby received her last allowable dose of the medicine. It was slowly dawning on me. We are loosing the Baby. It was at that moment, when the doctor decided it’s over. The mother broke into a scream and caressed her first born.

Time of death: 8:10pm.

It is of these times that it comes to me that we are never owners of our lives. Yes, take care of our body, but it is He who decides when will we die.

As for me, I just started the post mortem care. Good thing the baby have been baptised this afternoon as a lay minister came. It was heart breaking to see a mother hugging her baby never letting go. I gave her time. Till then, I slowly removed the IV lines, and all other attachments, changed the baby’s clothes, and cleaned her body. All the while, trying to separate the thought that I was nearly teary-eyed.

After we wrapped the baby in cloth, with ties on the head, hands and feet, wearing an elegant white baby dress, the mother carried her to the morgue. All I could give her is a pat in the back.

And that’s my first time after 3 weeks, to have a patient die.

God bless you baby ______!  There’s one more angel in heaven now.

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4 thoughts on “First Flatline

  1. Last year, I was in the “role” of the mother, twice at that. Lost both parents. I can talk about it. But for some reason, I still can’t write about it. Maybe because I don’t know where to start, or how. Someday, I will.

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