no babies allowed in my ICU

cross-posted from Caffeine and Xanax:

We were going to admit a woman on propofol and pressors who was 27 weeks pregnant. This was not MY patient, but she was coming to my side of the unit so my hands were starting to sweat just thinking about it. I mean… little baby heartbeats that could stop any minute, emergency c-sections, placentas flying, baby coding. Just no, no, no, no, no.

The baby may be “viable”, but just the thought of participating in this made me want to run down the hall, perhaps to the safety of inpatient dialysis, where nothing (much) ever happens. Or at least, I wanted my 77-year-old, lots-of-secretions, q1 hour suctioning patient to have a HUGE code brown so I could stay in his room and do NORMAL stuff.

So there I was, being a team player and priming fentanyl and versed lines for the nurse assigned to this pregnant nightmare patient, and the L&D nurse is putting on the tocos, to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, and what do I hear? NOTHING. I said to L, the assigned nurse, “oh my god please don’t tell me they can’t find a heartbeat.” She saw that I was poised to run out the door and expel the contents of my meager lunch, and quickly reassured me that they had already found it and were just making adjustments.

Ok. Fine. But here’s your fentanyl and versed and I’m outta here. Not to mention the fact that nobody likes a birth center nurse sitting around with huge clueless eyes, eating pizza, and trying to figure out if the vent alarm means that the patient is waking up or dying. Oh well… at least if a head drifts out of a vagina, someone will be around to do something about that, cause it sure as hell won’t be us MICU nurses!

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

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