Well, I had some apprehension about going back to work after a month on the trauma service, and then a week in paradise. (Or paradox…although I don’t think I could spend a week there!) But it turns out I had several good learning experiences today…which if you’re a patient, is usually bad news because it means you’re sick!
Today for the first time in my career, I actually had the need to put pacer pads on a patient. He was not only in complete heart block, but about once every 3 minutes, his ventricular beat would stop completely and he would “done fall out” on us. He looked like death…well, actually he was dead until his heart kicked in again. Once we got the pacer pads on, we had only moderate success keeping his heart beating until he could be taken to the cath lab. The first thing the cardiologist did when he arrived was turn the pacer off! (and then he “done near fell out” Silly doctor…he quickly realized that our patient needed it.
The other first was an acute cerebellar stroke with basilar artery stenosis. That’s fancy words for a woman who came in dizzy and nauseated that was actually caused by a stroke. I had to get an MRI of her brain and when the results came back, the neurologists practically or-gas-med at the result. (remove the hyphens to read the word…I’m trying to prevent search engine hits!) Forgive me for phrasing it that way, but they really were way too excited about the MRI.