Monday, March 30, 2009

The doctor feeling............

This past weekend, I was involved in three organ cases back to back. In one particular case I was getting the life sucked out of me by a family.
To make a VERY long story short, I was helping a family of a 16 year old who was tragically taken from them. This family was very interested in donation. It was my job to support them through the donation process. The patient was not brain dead, so this makes donation a bit more tricky, but doable. The patient's heart has to stop within 60 minutes for them to be able to donate the kidneys and the liver. We have a "tool" to acess the patient to see the likelyhood of them passing in the 60 minutes. This patient had less than 20% chance of passing, BUT the family wanted to try, so we proceeded with donation. When it was time to say goodbye to the patient, this family became very emotional ( as to be expected ) , as they anticipated this would be the last time they would see her until @ the funeral home. I escorted them to the family waiting room ( this was a VERY large family. If I had to guess I would say there were about 50 people there to support them ). I then went to the room where we would monitor the patient to see if she would pass. It was unfortunate the patient did not pass in the 60 minutes.

It was up to me to go back to this family and to tell them. As I was walking the halls to get back to the family room, I took off my surgical cap, and thought to myself...... THIS IS HOW DOCTORS FEEL..... I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach, my hands were shaking, and my heart was beating 100 times a minute. I turned the corner and boom, there was the family..... I broke the news to them as gently as I could, knowing that their one desire left of their family member, did not happen. Through the many tears and questions, I made it. But I now have even more utmost respect for the doctors when they are having to have those tough conversations with the families.
To all my doctor friends out there, Happy Doctor Day!

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