Liquid, I have only had one medical nightmare that I can remember. It happened to a patient of mine in real life and was one of the scariest things I have ever seen, no actually it was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life. And this from a woman who's picked up pieces and parts of multiple humans from the side of the road and fields.
Most of you know I specialize in vent/trach nursing. I used to be able to disassemble then reassemble a complete vent trach system while holding my breath and had it done before I had to take another breath. I was working in another facility that didn't have a vent trach ward. This patient actually only had a trach but since I was the only one 100 percent comfortable with it he was always my patient.
Well one morning about 6 am I was doing a med pass and my STNA stuck her head out of his room and said that he had coughed up a bit of blood. I told her I would be there in just a minute as I had pills in my hand and was headed into the room to give another patient her meds. While I was in the other patients room I heard my STNA again call for me. I poked my head out and told her again I was coming. I had to make sure that my current patient has swallowed her pills all the way and could lay back down.
She had so I came back out and now my STNA was sort of yelling for me to come and come quick. Keep in mind that I was in the other room maybe a minute and a half, if that. So I locked my cart and ran down the hallway to his room. He had a spot on his chest that was about the size of a softball of blood. Well, sometimes when a patient has a trach and they cough which he did pretty often they will expel some blood tinged mucous. No big deal, you secure their airway, clean them up and it's all good.
So I walked over to him, his eyes were open which I had never seen his eyes open in the 2 years I had worked there. That was weird. I get beside him and tell him that I was there, everything was going to be okay. He was breathing fine, and he had great color, trach was clear. So I turned to don a pair of gloves and he coughed again. I turned back and as I turned blood shot about 10 feet across the room. I yelled in a panic which I never do because I know how to handle emergent situations. I yelled to my STNA to go announce over the PA code blue.
I turned on the suction machine and started to suction him. It was a matter of seconds the entire suction canister was full, seconds. He coughed twice more. I was wearing all white that day which I almost never did. I was covered in blood, head to toe. There was so much blood so quick it was pooled in my shoes, it was soaked to my panties and bra. It was in my hair, on my face, everyplace. I never even had the chance to put gloves on, not that it would have mattered.
Every ounce of blood he had just about came out of him in less than maybe 20 seconds, maybe 30 at the longest. There was nothing I could do to stop it, fix it, change it or control it. I was completely helpless to do anything for him. It's my job to save people, heal people, help them, comfort him. I had just 30 seconds earlier looked this man in the eyes for the first time in 2 years and told him not to worry because I was there and was going to take care of him and that he was going to be okay.
It looked like a half dozen pigs had been slaughtered all at the same time in that room. I just can't explain it to you. I couldn't leave either because I was blood soaked. The paramedics came and they went to walk in the room and stopped. One ran down the hallway and vomited. The other refused to come in until blankets were laid on the floor so he wouldn't be tracking blood all over the facility.
The one that finally came in and myself loaded him up. I won't go into details but it wasn't your normal load and run, we had to make sure everything was contained to again nothing else would get contaminated. By that time the DON was in the building and was on the scene. Someone went and got me towels and what not so that I too could walk to the showers without getting blood all over the place. It felt like it took forever to get all the blood out of my hair and off of me. My clothes were red bagged and discarded, so were my shoes.
I still to this day am not totally sure what happened. I'm guessing he threw a clot but I am not sure. The doctor that I talked to later said, and I am going to say this and please do NOT think I am being crass because I am not, but the medical professionals will probably understand what I am trying to say here, but he said that me seeing that was a once in a life time experience. Most medical professionals have heard about it happening on a rare occasion but most only see it when it's over. Very seldom does anyone actually get to witness it happening in front of their eyes.
That is my only medical nightmare that I have. I have had it more than a few times too. The feeling of being totally helpless, unable to do anything, unable to make a difference. Telling a patient that it will be okay because I am there and then it ending up not being okay. It is the most helpless I probably have ever felt in my entire life. And that's what I see, a random patient bleeding out just like he would and me standing there covered in blood, yonkers in hand, unable to do a damn thing but watch your patient bleed out to death right in front of your eyes. It still makes me cry just thinking about it and probably always will. I wake up from those dreams and usually have to feel like I have to vomit, and I am always covered in sweat.