Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Heroic First Responders

As health care and emergency workers, we can function with an almost divine ability to help in an emergency.  We have been through endless training and go through constant practice and drills and scenarios.  And when something goes down we get tough...and do what we have to do.

But when the "victim" is someone we love...we sort of lose some judgment.

A couple weeks ago, we got a frantic phone call directly to our unit at about 2am with a man yelling, "I need an ambulance!  My wife is having a baby!"  Our secretary of course told him, "Ummm, Sir, you need to call 911 for an ambulance."  We all found it so peculiar that this man thought out how to call directly to the L&D unit, having had to find our phone number most likely.  Why wouldn't he just call 911?  Weird.

So, about 30 minutes later, we received an ambulance with a patient who had had her baby at the side of the road about 5 minutes away from the hospital.  Her husband accompanied her and was obviously high as a kite on adrenaline and joy.  He had caught the baby before the ambulance got there.

So, a few minutes later, after the doctor delivered the placenta and we got the patient and the baby settled, we heard this father on the phone saying, "Yeah Sarge, she had the baby...uh huh, I delivered I won't be into the Station tomorrow I guess...Thanks Sarge."  My friend and I were stunned and had to hold back baffled giggles.

"Oh, are you a policeman?" I asked, still holding back snickers and feeling astonished.

"Yep!" he said proudly.

"Sir," my friend gave him a sideways smile, batted her eyes, and asked teasingly, "Did you call here?"

"Um..." he looked at the ground and we could see his neck reddening, "Yeah," he said under his breath with a meek smile.

There was a brief silence as we went about our work, with our brows raised in amazement. I mean, he was a policeman...and he didn't think to call 911?  I would think that a policeman would know how to get an ambulance.

"It's OK," my friend said.  "It's a little different when it's your wife."

Shoot, we can't really blame the guy.  At least he has great bragging rights when he tells the guys that he delivered his own baby, right.  We won't tell.

Another example is when a friend of mine who is an ER nurse had to deliver Epinephrine emergently to his child with an EpiPen who was having a life-threatening allergic reaction to a bee sting.  He administered it with the Pen upside-down and injected his own thumb. Oops.


  1. Great examples of why medical)or law enforcement) professionals shouldn't routinely treat their own family members!

  2. I discovered your blog through a friend and have just finished reading the entire thing! I am senior nursing student with a life-long dream of working in L&D and hopefully in just 3 months, I will begin! I have loved reading and hope you start writing again soon!!

  3. I too learned of your blog through a friend starting with your Ode to night nurses. I have been a night shift L&D Nurse for 7yrs and am loving every second of your stories! Of course we know they all hit home and are everything I'm thinking but I'm not funny enough to put it down!

  4. My favorite was a pediatric resident who looked at his baby right after delivery and frantically asked, "Is her breathing okay? Her hands and feet are purple." I had to ask him to take off his dad hat for a minute and put the pediatrician hat on. He then smiled sheepishly and said,"Oh yeah, acrocyanosis is normal."