Wednesday, 4 May 2011

How appropriate...

The 4th of May is 'Remembrance of the dead' in Holland. The 'dead' being those who died in war. (Because 5th May is Liberation day, you know, WW2?) I don't know what to do with today as a special day really, my 'dead' survived their wars and died of illness, and I remember them when I see fit.

However, through some random coincidence, I spent 'Remembrance day' doing Advanced Life Support and Paediatric Advanced Life Support courses. Roughly, the idea is to prevent dead people from further dying.

You know the scenes in ER when they yell 'clear' (and everybody is still touching the bed) and then shock patients with a flat line, who usually wake up after a few shocks?

Well, real life is nothing like that. Most of the patients who needed CPR I've seen actually died. The most dramatic was the 21-year-old. She had a pulmonary embolism; had been started on streptokinase, and then crashed. During the resuscitation she started bleeding from her old TB laesions; and there's no way to stop the bleeding. Her lungs filled up. She was younger than I was at the time.

I don't know how I've managed it; but I've seen more cardiac arrests than almost any other fresh graduate I've spoken to. (I'm not drop dead gorgeous, it's not me...) And now I'm the doctor. I'm the internal medicine 'resident' / 'SHO' (Dutch term doesn't translate); and I'm the one who leads. Today I learned just how much I learned during my 10-week Acute Medicine elective last year. We worked through a couple of acute scenarios, and I didn't do worse than the others, despite them having actually worked as a doctor already.

I have tomorrow off; and then Friday I'm going to do the ALS etc exams.

Had a lovely run today though. Last run at 4min/2min, next run 5min/1.5min... am slowly working towards 30mins straight. Again. But there's no pressure really.


  1. hey :)

    What a scary story about the 21 year old girl. I remember being on the IC really clear. Reading things like this, I'm really happy I'm still here.

    Anyway, good luck with your ALS examens today!


  2. It might be your good looks?