Post-it 1/9/22-Can we talk about what the word dying means?

The post-it reads ‘on call doc who wouldn’t let us leave, wanted there just in case. Yeah, that case never developed, and we went home after 6 hours of no case’.

But the next call night I got paged for an ectopic.

With the same doctor.

I loathe ectopics.

Especially with a doctor who I don’t know anything about.

And who told me the patient was dying.

Actively dying.

There was a lot of blood in the belly after we put a scope in her belly, I’ll give her that.

Pre-surgery, her heart rate and blood pressure were stable.

Her color was pink and she was in good spirits.

Nope, that is not how an actively dying patient presents.

If you know, you know.

The MD tells me again that the patient is dying as I was prepping the patient for surgery.

Um, I don’t think you know what that means.

I am sure you do.

But not.

While I agree this case is urgent, this patient is in no way actively dying.

But I’m not the surgeon.

Guess what?

Maybe the doctor should’ve made sure the patient was type and crossed.

In the ER.

Where they have more people.

Not in the OR where there is 4 people.

3 with active computer permissions and skills.

But no.

I had to do it while I am doing all 500,000 things I have to do to get the ’emergency’ case going.

Can we agree what dying is?

If not, can we agree what is or is not an emergency.

2 thoughts on “Post-it 1/9/22-Can we talk about what the word dying means?

  1. This has been an issue for my entire career. Years ago I worked with one of the best anesthesiologist to wear scrubs. He’d go see the pt. If it wasn’t an emergency he’d go confront the surgeon & tell him we’re not operating on this person. No argument. Just no! We had one team. If we’re tied up doing his “emergency” what happens when an actual emergency? I miss Dr. McVey! God rest his soul!
    He’d been to Viet Nam & knew what an emergency looked like & no one could convince him otherwise. Back then we took night call for an entire week. We would fight to get assigned his week cause we knew if we got a call it was the real thing.


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