Medical fiction Writing Contest
When this happens to a patient in a hospital setting, the same general steps are followed, except when someone calls for help, they push a code button on the wall that alerts an entire team of medical professionals to come to the room with a code cart. This is often depicted as a chaotic moment, but honestly it’s more like a highly intricate dance. The first person to find the patient is generally the one to do chest compressions.
The next to come will start giving oxygen through an ambu bag. If there isn’t already an IV someone starts it. Another person sets up the code cart and hooks the patient up to the EKG monitor. Another simply records everything that’s being done at what time so they can chart it all later. Usually there are 5-10 people that walk in within a minute (if not sooner).
When the anesthesiologist arrives, the person in charge of airway assists him while he gets the patient intubated and compressions are paused during intubation. The patient’s primary doctor usually stands and watches everything that’s being done and gives out orders. Others in the room are encouraged to voice any other ideas or steps that might have been missed.
There’s a lot happening at one time, but don’t think for one second that it’s disorganized. The code teams in hospitals are trained to respond to every code in the hospital, and depending on the size of the hospital, there can be a handful each day.
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