Saturday, December 11, 2004

Bobby McFerrin

As I write this, the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin plays in my head. I’ll start you off “Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note…” (include the whisteling parts)

Today I had to take a day off my busy clinic schedule to cross cover the CCU for a friend who was too busy to cross cover his own coverage. A 67 y/o man (Mr. Shock) was brought into the CCU, awake, alert, on a gurney and in stable ventricular tachycardia. Usually, this arrhythmia can be managed with medication if the patient is stable. However, if the patient becomes unstable then we must defibrillate (ie: shock him). At that time the patient can either revert to normal sinus rhythm or die.

Fortunately, he was stable for a while. Then, slowly his BP began to drop 120/…110/…100/…90..80. So we had to defibrillate.

Me: Listen Mr. Shock you’re blood pressure is slowly beginning to drop, we have to shock you. We’re just going to give you this medication to make you a little drowsy first, ok?

Mr. Shock: Sure Doctor, do you think it’ll be ok?

(Nurse beside me beginning to panic and realizes we may soon have a code on our hands)

Me: Well, most probably it’ll be ok. (Sympathetic tone of voice) You know we have to do this now.

That’s when the defibrillator entered the room. The nurse yelled outside the door to another nurse to bring the crash cart…the “CRASH” cart.

Mr. Shock (tears forming in eyes): Doc, are you sure things will be ok?

Respiratory therapist entered the room as she informed me, quite loudly, that she “IS READY TO I.N.T.U.B.A.T.E. IF NEEDED”, Did you hear that Mr. Shock. Oh no?…let me repeat.

Me: I hope so.

The sound of latex gloves slapping flesh could be heard throughout. As everyone around begins to suit up…for a code.

The song continues..“Your landlord says you rent is late, he may have to litigate, so don’t worry…”