Friday, August 05, 2005
Calm death, Calm Save
I just got off a 36 hour shift. First call of the long shift was a full arrest in the parking lot of a gas station. Here were are three medics, fire department, and several sheriff deputies in a parking lot in rural Carolina trying our best to save a man that has long been passed. However not showing any signs, like levity and rigor. So we work him. CPR, intubation, Epinephrine, Atropine, Amiodarone and a myriad of other drugs in our arsenal. We work him for 45 mins hoping for something, but like the many before him he is just practice for the "real" arrest. The one we can save. The one that has a chance. I have had three in my career. One a 20 year old overdose, a witnessed EMS arrest. Another a 37 year old that was also a witnessed arrest that we were able to shock back to a pulse. Early in my career I asked why we work the unsaveable. The answer I got was they are Practice to the real one, the one that is able to be saved. Not everyone lives, not everyone dies. Sometime we can save them and that makes all the stress, this unthankable job worth having. No humor during this shift. Just the sick and stupid calling for help. So we answer with a smile and a kind word, making sure that the stupid don;t realize that we are interally wondering "why the fuck are we here?" and the sick know that I'm there because I want to be there, to help. I love my job even if its a 13 year old with a small laceration to the top of his foot from dropping a glass on it. It's not always adrenaline. Sometimes its just the fact that we are there to calm the frantic mother by explaining that the raspberries the child is blowing is not respiratory distress, but playful child, that makes my night.