Or, When The Room Becomes Silent: What To Do After We’ve Done Everything
A great deal of emphasis is placed on out-of-hospital resuscitation. There are studies continually being published on dealing with the effectiveness of CPR and defibrillation, the use of mechanical compression devices, intubation or blind airways, medications, the list goes on...
Then, there are the practical skills: starting an IV, intubating, shocking the patient, drawing up medications, and the proper administration.
And, when everything is put together—the skills, the book knowledge, the pathophysiology, medical history, etc.—that’s the science of medicine.
I remember my final practical exam in paramedic school. One of the scenarios included a patient in cardiac arrest. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least. I had drug dosages to memorize and time slots to remember. I had to dynamically alter my care based on the ECG changes shown on the monitor. Chaos. And then, when I started working in the field, I found that cardiac arrest management is like a tightly orchestrated concert. Everyone and everything has its role. And when executed perfectly, we provide our patients the greatest opportunity for survival.
But there’s more to patient care than science.