I've been mulling over whether I should write about this for the past few weeks, simply because it doesn't show my clinical skills in the best light. Some may even say I need to go back to first year and work out my problems.
Since the blog is somewhat anonymous, I thought I'd share anyway.
So, I've been told I have a nice high volume pulse, and I'm a thin guy. It just so happens there're times during ABGs when I need to concentrate real hard to avoid picking up on my own pulse in my fingertips. So, a couple of weeks ago, I had a couple of polytrauma patients who weren't doing so well. They required daily blood tests, so it had become a routine for me to get blood via the femoral vessels; God forbid I try to extract it from the central lines and mess up the Dopa-drips.
Was just another morning, me with my needle and syringe, hunting for a femoral pulse that I knew is usually feeble seeing how critical the patient is. I was just about to prick him, when an anesthesiologist asked what I was doing. "I need to run some tests". "He's gone. Didn't you know?". I was just left standing there, wondering what needed to be done next; a little befuddled and upset at thinking I'd found the patient's pulse. And when all the thoughts of my stupidity had ceased, the flatline pulse oxymeter, the ominously still functioning ventilator made me feel sorry for the man who'd just passed.