Saturday, July 05, 2008
I Let Her Die.
The call comes in early in the morning around 12:30am to take a elderly female back to the nursing home after treatment at the ER for dyspena.
My partner and I arrive to find a 88 year old female with a GCS of about 4 working hard to breathe on 15 lpm by mask. Rate was about 32, SPO2 91%.
We ask the ER doc what O2 he wants her to go back on as the nursing home can only provide 6 lpm by concentrator. The doc then informs us she is hospice care and hands us a newly minted DNR.
We switch her over to a cannula at 6 lpm per the doc and begin the transport.
She makes it about 10 minutes and codes.
As we arrive at the nursing home I leave my partner in the back so I can run in and talk to the charge nurse and try to explain the situation. The charge was just as confused as I was. I guess what we were both wondering is why the ER didn't put her on the cannula and let the dying process happen there?
There are specific protocols for letting a patient die in the ER and there are also protocols for letting them die in a nursing facility under the care of hospice. There are NO DEFINED protocols for allowing them to die in the squad.
It all was very alien to me. My mind knew I had to follow the direction of medical control but my soul was screaming to do something... ANYTHING!
We knew she was going to go. I just didn't want her to go without her family around. I had offered to let them ride in the squad but they chose not to for one reason or another.
I feel sad.
Rest in Peace.
Posted by Zer0 at 10:44 PM