Friday, July 07, 2006

My first port-mortem care

I experienced my first post-mortem care last week in Sotto (VSMMC). The patient was an 83 year old man. I didn't know what his case was, he was not under our group's care. I noticed days earlier that his condition was already dire, because he was having difficulty breathing. He was using an oxygen setup and a few times he "slipped away". But the doctors/interns were able to bring him back. That particular day, however, he was already unresponsive. He wouldn't respond to the CPR, nor to the emergy drugs. Her daughter was barely able to control her crying when it dawned on them that he was already dead.

Our clinical instructor got three of us guys to do the post-mortem. We put on our gloves. Lolo was so heavy (He looked as if he was only asleep). Our CI told us to tie his wrists together as well as his legs. I asked myself if it's okay to do that, because it seemed a harsh thing to do. I was also sensitive to lolo's family members who were there observing us. Anyway, we went ahead and did it. I held his wrists and blood flowed out from his punctured skin where the IV used to be attached. I was too cautious, I couldn't do what I'm supposed to do right. Fortunately, my two classmates were very efficient and calm. Me, I was sweating profusely. Sweat ran down my forehead like a river. I looked ridiculous, which prompted my CI to ask if she could take down my glasses so I can wipe off my sweat... tsk tsk tsk. Then we wrapped him in a white blanket, then secured it with a string around his shoulder and legs. Then we attached the identification cards.

Death is a common occurence in Ward IX. People die there literally everyday. The staff nurses there are used to it. Nindut unta if naay role ang mga nurses to console the departed's love ones. Lain man gud if namatyan ka and then makita nimo nga ang hospital personnel are just there watching you at a distance, seemingly indiffirent to your loss.


balikbayan_box said...

i used to feel that way when i had my first mortem care. but as per experience had taught me we, nurses shouldnt show nor allow ourselves to both empathy and sympathy feelings.

Frankly up to now i dont get it.

Hope you feel better after that experience.

Dante said...

bitaw dapat kalma lang daw ka, dili magpagawas sa emotions.

okay ra man ko after ato. :)

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