13 October 2009
Play to the End
I was thinking a lot today about a post I wrote some time last year in which I talked about a "good day to die." The patient that prompted me to remember this was my last patient of the day. Having just come back from 11 glorious days off, it was very hard to try to get back into the rhythm of things.
Just at the last hour, we suddenly got a Mercy flight. The report was a patient who had suffered a stroke. As the helicopter landed, we began to learn more about our new patient. They were in their 90's and had traveled with friends to a casino about 4 hours away from home.
While at the casino, they had felt suddenly ill and began to exhibit signs of a stroke (* I'll give a quick easy way to remember these at the end.) EMS was called and the patient was transferred to us. Unfortunately, they had suffered a severe bleed into their brain and their prognosis is grim at best.
Later, as I thought about this patient, I felt they'd had their "good day to die." Or, at least, what I would consider a good day: a trip with friends, gambling, probably a good buffet lunch, dressed to the nines... in their 90's. Keep partying on, brother, keep partying on...!
F - face - is one side drooping?
A - arms - are you not able to hold one of them up?
S - speech - is the speech garbled or slurred?
T - time is brain, get to a hospital as soon as possible