Hey everyone! I’ve been rotated once more within Paediatrics and it’s a stressful unit; like my body is screaming at me via my usual stress symptoms – if you’ve got ways of mentally de-stressing; as I don’t have the time to do my usual relaxing things unfortunately – please drop them in the comments!
Anyways so this post is about the call duty I did earlier this week; it involved ambu-bagging (which is doing CPR but with an ambulatory ventilator rather than using your mouth to pump air into the lungs of the patient) a patient that still had a heartbeat, but couldn’t breathe on his own.
Brethren. I pumped this 3 week old for over 5 hours. Started at 8pm and got a bit of help between 10-10.30pm but another emergency came up so the person helping had to leave to attend to that. I continued for another long while and at points I confess that I was thinking, what’s the essence of what I’m doing? If he hasn’t been able to breathe for this long, the chances that his brain is damaged is very high, what sort of life would he live? Wouldn’t he be better off passing on now, than a life of suffering – and that’s when I cut myself short.
As tired as I was at 1am doing what seemed to be futile, I kept pumping because I realized it’s not my call. The truth is, whether he lived or died that night was almost solely in my hands, and I was wearing out, but even in the midst of my fatigue, I knew that I didn’t have the jurisdiction to decide who gets to stay on this planet and who doesn’t. So I kept putting my all into getting him to breathe again and by 5am, my trooper was breathing on his own.
Two days later however, he passed on. I was sad, but I knew I gave him my all that night.
The moral of the story I guess, would be to never let your position of power lead you to abuse it. Hold tightly to your values, always.
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo