Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not all emergencies end up in the ER.

While we all like to think that having a baby will go smoothly each time, on occasion there are true emergencies. Last week, Carol and her husband show up to labor and delivery because she thought her water broke. Now, just showing up without calling anyone, your doc included, and people that think their water broke are both subjects for another day. Either way, no matter how annoying you are, or how big of a pain in the ass we can tell your family is going to be, you still get treated like everyone else.

Anyway, Carol appeared without calling and there was only one empty bed (lucky for her there was one) but the patient had just been transferred to her new room so it hadn't been cleaned yet. We let both her and her husband know that the room was in the process of being cleaned and we would come and get them from the waiting room as soon as it was ready. Dude takes his wife to the waiting room and then comes back to throw a cussing fit that his wife is having a baby and it is unacceptable to make her wait.

At this point we are all thinking, "OK jerk, everyone up here is having a baby and they are working as fast as they can to clean the room so your wife doesn't have to lay in a dirty bed or deal with a puddle of blood on the floor." Amazingly, everyone held their tongue and we escorted them to their new room ASAP.

One of the other nurses on the floor, Kelly, gathers her paperwork and heads back to her room to get her admitted while someone else makes to call to her doctor to let him know that we have one of their patients there (don't do this, call your doc first). While being admitted, Carol starts screaming that she feels like she has to poop, usually a sure sign that the baby will be there. Kelly yells down the hall for one or all of the midwives and then proceeds to check her cervix. Instead of finding a fully dilated cervix, she finds a prolapsed umbilical cord. This is the point where it hits the roof.

Kelly flips the woman over to the following position to try and relive pressure on the cord but the baby's heart rate is still slow so she crawls into bed and sticks her arm up the woman's vagina to support the baby's head and keep it from putting pressure on the cord, which was cutting of circulation completely.

The rest of us, literally every person on the floor, are frantically prepping the OR, getting anesthesia up there, finding any doc that is qualified to do a c-section, and getting Carol ready. In a matter of minutes, we are rolling her back to the operating room, on all fours in her bed with Kelly on all fours in her bed behind her, arm in her vagina, supporting the baby. Carol is prepped and draped. The drape thrown over Kelly as well, who is now under the sterile field still holding the baby. In less than 10 minutes from the cord being discovered the baby is out.

Now, back to the husband. The entire time is is standing outside of the operating room screaming that we haven't taken good care of his wife and that we didn't really need to do a c-section and how he is going to sue every one of us. Yeah a-hole, we had our hands up your wife's vagina, saving your baby's life and got her back to the OR in under 10 minutes because it wasn't necessary.


Suzi said...

That lady was me 11 years ago and the nursing staff was great! it was shift change and when the sh** hit the fan all the staff stayed and helped out. we were soooo grateful, sorry the hubby was a jerk!

PhoenixFS said...

At that point, I would give the husband a 2' tall stack of paperwork and tell him to fill those out while we work on this issue.

RaisinCookies said...

As a woman whose baby had a prolapsed cord, thank you all for acting quickly in emergency situations. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, and all the staff were so calming and professional. My baby was born within 10 minutes of finding out his cord was prolapsed, as well. Thank goodness for modern medicine, I say!

mewwsical said...

Sometimes you just have to feel sorry for people who are so uneducated as to not appreciate true heroics... at least the baby survived in spite of him.

Bell_Clan_37 said...

I'm definitely one of those "no c-sections!!!" mamas but I just looked at my husband and told him, "If I were ever in this situation, a c-section IS necessary and you need to be grateful and stay out of the way!" lol