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Monday, January 3, 2011


"SNiFs"- A skilled nursing facility, a nursing/convalescent home. There's a lot of negative things that could be and has been written about them. However, they do fulfill a specialized niche in health-care. They care for the elderly and the really sick people that have no where or no one else to care for them. It's something that I could never do. That being said, heaven help the person that has an emergency at a SNiF. They aren't trained for it and it shows....usually.

We were toned out for the fourth time in the last hour. So much for going to bed early. We arrived at the nursing home to find several staff members (I can never tell which ones are RN's/LVN's/CNA's/or what ever else) standing around my patient who was laying on the floor. The staff members had a cart there with an oxygen tank and had actually placed the patient on high flow oxygen. When I asked, one of the ladies said that the patient had been sitting in a chair in the lobby when she started to have a seizure. A quick thinking health care worker grabbed the patient and laid her on the ground so she wouldn't fall, asked someone to grab the oxygen and called us. Apparently the convulsing lasted about a minute.

My patient was no longer actively seizing but she was still totally unresponsive. As we started go get to work I asked the lady at the cart to move it a little. She immediately started to walk off with the oxygen still attached to the mask that was strapped to the patients head. We stopped her and just grabbed the tank. As we did our assessment we found that everything was normal (pulse-88, respiratory rate-16, SpO2-96%, sugar-152, pupils-perrl, skins-normal) except her BP. Her blood pressure was through the roof. 240/120.

As we finished doing our assessment I through in an IV. While I was finishing that up AMR walked through the door.

The call was fairly unremarkable except that the staff did everything right. While we didn't do any tests or treatments that nurses there couldn't have done we did bring the knowledge of what to check and what to do. We are trained for those emergent situations, they are not. This may seem kind of obvious but not all nurses realize that. I'm glad these medical professionals did.


Lauren said...

I had a laughed at the picture of them walking away with the O2 still hooked up. I can see it happening! I had a similar experience last shift... I was totally floored to find the Nursing home put in an IV and hung fluids after they got her labs back and before they called EMS too!

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

Has there been some shift in the universe that I didn't know about? Were the Eagles right?

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