Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Day 3, early morning.
I'm heading back from handover when a nurse calls me into a patient's room, the sats have dropped. It's a gentleman who somehow landed on my ward the previous day without my knowing. I discovered him when I went looking for him, and gave him a quick look before heading home. Complicated case, and a DNR.

I did not resuscitate. I watched him slowly deteriorate; I informed the family; I talked to my supervisor; I started him on fluids when the tension dropped.

Then he refused to have his stats taken. I told the nurse to phone me if he got worse, thinking he was going to die somewhere in the afternoon. We had lunchtime presentations, and given that there's nothing more I could do for this patient, and all the others were set, I decided to go. (Besides, free lunch!)

I barely grabbed a sandwich when the nurse phoned me. He had died. I just had to pronounce him.


  1. The unfortunate part of the job, but what was for lunch.

  2. Reminds me of my first as a medic during the Viet Nam war.