You’re working in Acute 2 slogging away when you hear “ED TEAM 7000” overhead.
You sprint faster than everyone else and get there first. Congrats! You made it through the maze of Sinai. When you get there, you find a woman who is awake but looks sick. What do you do now? Run her to the ED? Do a full exam? Wait for someone more senior to get there?
Here are some tips:
Fist of all – you need to keep everyone calm and bring down the noise level. Often we are called because the care team is frantic and freaked out. Keep noise to a minimum and try to communicate clearly.
Does she have and airway.
Is she breathing? Is she breathing appropriately? If you’re concerned – give O2!
Does she have a pulse? Is it strong, weak, thready? If you have a BP cuff, check that.
Is she altered? Do you need to check a fingerstick?
If you have gone through these steps and none need immediate intervention, it is time to get back to the ED safely. Stay with the patient, keep everyone calm and guide the stretcher.
This is not a time to run frantically down the halls and create a new patient.
If there is something you need when you get to the ED, call ahead and ask for respiratory, a resus bed, or an EKG.
Keep a sense of calm and check in frequently with the patient and your team.