My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. The day’s purpose remains a day of reflection and kindness. Then of course there are the ‘Four Fs’ of Thanksgiving: family, friends, food, and football. Nevertheless, I spent my Thanksgiving this year working in the emergency department as did my wife. Working holidays in the emergency department exists as a study of are and are not true emergencies. After all, who wants to come to the emergency department when you have the Four Fs? The emergency department census is filled with truly sick people; albeit, the number of people who actually come to the emergency department are in most cases down from the normal day. Which I have always found fascinating in a perplexing kind of way? Is it a true measure of true medical emergencies? Is this what my life would be like in a perfect world?
Certain radio calls from EMS get your attention in a deafening sort of way. When the first sound you hear from the radio call is the siren, this is generally not a good sign, but by itself can be deceiving. The second point of information that will get your attention will be the patient is a child or infant. Lastly, there will be fuzzy details followed by the words, “cardiac arrest.” At this point, everything stops. The emergency department seems to freeze up for a few seconds, then faces turn towards you. Concerns over other patients’ pending labs or consultant return phone call seem to fade into that category of “It will have to wait.”
The child was found face down unresponsive floating in pool. These are circumstances where everything comes down to the first few minutes. The parents immediately retrieved the child and started resuscitation. After one minute, their blue lifeless child cough up water and started to respond. By the time the medics arrived the child was awake, alert, answering questions appropriately. The child thankfully arrived under the same status with parents in tow. It is difficult to explain the emotions. When the dust settled after their arrival, I told the parents their child was alive and well because of their immediate decisive action. A Thankful Thanksgiving.