“Quickly, get ready, the 120 ambulance is here.”
At 3:40 in the morning, the blue ambulance warning light was reflected in the night before the nurse Zhao Bold spoke.
What was lifted from the ambulance was a thin man who was over 60 years old, with gray hair, sunken eye sockets, disorderly growing beard, different socks…
At this moment, the patient had fallen into a deep coma. Thunderous snoring and vomit at the corners of his mouth were mixed together, and a strong smell of alcohol filled every corner of the rescue room.
Obviously, at this moment, the patient is not only unconscious, but also suffocation caused by vomiting. If the suffocation problem is not resolved immediately, the patient will die at any time.
It was three men of the same age who brought the patient to the hospital, who claimed to be the patient’s workmates. “He is in a very serious condition and is in a coma. Now he needs to have a tracheal intubation, otherwise he will die.” Before I could inquire about the condition, I told the three workers who were not aware of the seriousness of the situation.
“He was drunk, and we were here for the infusion.” One of the older workers once again emphasized their purpose of coming to the hospital in their native dialect.
No need for me to answer, the 120 emergency doctor who has not left yet preemptively said: “I told you earlier, he is unconscious, not drunk.”
“It’s not that you are drunk, what could be the problem?” The worker was puzzled.
While preparing the items for the tracheal intubation, I continued: “It is entirely possible that it is a cerebral hemorrhage. Anyway, save your life! You should inform the boss and the patient’s family as soon as possible.”
Nurse Zhao Bold asked three workers out of the rescue room, and I inserted the laryngoscope into the patient’s airway.
“Have you contacted the patient’s family?” This question is my biggest concern, because the patient’s condition is extremely critical and there is a possibility of death at any time. For a while, several workers had difficulty contacting the patient’s family. After asking the leader for instructions, I decided to continue to contact the patient’s family members and follow the normal procedures for rescue.
After the tracheal intubation, my nurse Zhao Bold and I took the patient for a CT examination of the head and chest.
When moving the patient, I found that the waistband worn by the patient was a strip of white cloth, which was exactly the same as my grandfather’s 30 years ago. This simple yellowed belt is tied around the patient’s waist just like that, with one end tied to life and the other tied to life.
The results of the CT examination were the same as I expected: cerebral hemorrhage, brain herniation, aspiration pneumonia.
After several urgings, the patient’s boss came to the hospital. The boss mentioned by the workers is a man under 50. From the boss’s mouth, I learned some basic information about the patient.
The true age of the patient is 63 years old. He is from another province and has been working on the construction site for nearly two years. On weekdays, except for the high blood pressure, he has not heard of any diseases or symptoms. That night, due to the sudden drop in temperature, several workers gathered for a drink. After drinking, the patient started to have headaches and vomiting, but it did not attract the attention of the patient and the workers, because everyone thought it was just a sign of drunkenness. It wasn’t until the patient showed symptoms of loss of consciousness that the two workers realized that they had to take the patient to the hospital to sober up.
This boss is one of the few responsible people I have seen. He cares about the lives of patients, not money. However, the patient’s condition is extremely critical, and the immediate family members of the patient must be notified as soon as possible. This is not only morally dictated, but also not only a moral requirement, but also a doctor’s obligation.
After several setbacks, the workers finally found the patient’s old cell phone in the dormitory. There were only a few phone numbers without names in the address book, and I dialed the first number.
“Hello, are you a family member of ×××?”
“I’m a doctor, and ××× is in a coma due to cerebral hemorrhage in the hospital. Can you rush over?”
After I explained the situation briefly, there was no response from the other party, and there was silence on the other end of the phone.
“Hey, are you listening?”
Family members asked: “Is it serious?”
Thankfully, the family did not regard me as a liar, nor did they hang up the phone. However, something unexpected happened to me. After listening to my introduction, the family members only said one sentence and hung up the phone: “I can’t go. You can call my second child.”
My father’s life was hanging by a thread, but my son ignored him. In addition to making me feel indignant, there was also a hint of coldness. In desperation, I dialed another phone number in the address book.
After dialing 3 times, the call was finally connected.
“Excuse me, are you a family member of ×××?”
It turned out that this number happened to belong to the patient’s second son. I quickly introduced the patient’s condition once again, and asked the family to arrive at the hospital as soon as possible. On the phone, there was another long silence, which made me feel a panic.
“is it serious?”
“It’s very serious and may die.”
“But, I can’t make it now.” The second son on the other end of the phone also refused my request.
After being rejected one after another, I was already a little angry: “You must have heard of cerebral hemorrhage? If the amount of bleeding is heavy, you will kill you, don’t you know? Medical treatment requires money and family members’ signatures, do you know? You have time to wait, your father has no time to wait.”
I never imagined that in the face of his father’s critical condition, the two sons would refuse to come to the hospital one after another.
“You are rescued first, I will find a way.” After the patient’s second son said such an unclear sentence, he hung up the phone, just like his elder brother.
The hospital is already doing its best to treat and the cost has been paid by the boss, but the patient’s life is hanging by a thread, and the only thing missing is the care and company of the family. As a son, shouldn’t he rush to the hospital to do his filial piety?
In fact, I don’t dare to expect the patient’s two sons to be able to rush to the hospital immediately, after all, the two places are nearly 300 kilometers apart. I just hope that the family can understand the patient’s condition, know the treatment plan, come to take care of the patient as soon as possible, and make some important decisions when necessary.
At 5 o’clock in the morning, the cold floor of the emergency room reflected the sad face of the patient’s boss. He stared at me and asked, “Doctor, does he have any big problems?”
He has asked this question many times, and I still answered truthfully: “It is very serious, bleeding is heavy, and the bleeding site is also very dangerous. The vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate are very unstable, and there is no opportunity for surgery. It is estimated that it will be difficult to survive. It’s dawn.”
At 7 in the morning, sunlight came in through the huge French windows of the rescue room. The sun is all over the floor, but people can’t feel the warmth. The ECG monitor without the alarm sound can also reveal no breath of life. A young man, probably only 20 years old, appeared in the rescue room. He claimed to be the grandson of the patient.
“I rushed over after receiving the call.” The young but sophisticated young man explained.
The appearance of young people was completely unexpected, and I was even relieved.
“Why didn’t your father come?” I still can’t explain why the patient’s two sons are unwilling to come. If they are willing to arrive, 300 kilometers is not a long distance.
However, what the young man said left me speechless, even ashamed. It turned out that his uncle would never stand up because of a car accident as early as 10 years ago. His father was treated for amputation because of his diabetic foot. He is now hospitalized in the local hospital.
Life once again used a living example to tell me: Never easily speculate and blame others, because you will never know the hidden stories hidden in the depths, because you can’t understand the suffering of others.
Young people work in a city 100 kilometers away from here, and hurried over after receiving a call from their father. Although he is much more stable than his peers, it is still a bit heartbreaking to give him the responsibility of determining the life and death of his grandfather.
Can this family bear the end of the patient’s inability to sober even after paying the high cost of treatment?
Can this family accept the fact that the patient loses his last dignity?
The patient cannot make a decision on his own, and no one can make a decision for this young man.
I told the thin young man about the patient’s current condition, all the pros and cons, and all the possibilities, hoping that he can make the final decision.
A few workers had already left, and the boss also left after paying a fee. Only young people who kept calling were left in the corridor.
I stood in the rescue room, through the floor-to-ceiling windows, bathed in the temperatureless winter sun. I clearly saw the sun but no hope.
“Doctor, we don’t look at it.” Hanging up the phone, the young man made the decision to give up treatment.
For patients with this level of illness and families with this background, I have already guessed that their family members will make the decision to give up treatment, because this happens often in the emergency department.
Sometimes, I feel sad for such a decision, after all, it is a life being given up.
Sometimes, I feel bitter about such a decision. After all, giving up means that the previous efforts of medical staff have been in vain.
Sometimes, I feel indignant at such a decision, after all, patients still have a chance to fight hard.
Sometimes, I feel entangled with such a decision, after all, people who are alive have to continue to live.
The family members made the decision to give up treatment after careful consideration. Although there is a trace of melancholy in my heart, I can understand and respect it.
The young man found a van, and he wanted to take his grandfather away from this strange place.
The young man thanked me before leaving. When I looked up, I found two lines of tears clearly hanging on his cheeks.
The patient was taken away by the young man. It is time for me and nurse Zhao Bold to get off work.
“Believe it or not, the rescue room also has a soul.” Zhao boldly threw out such a sentence.
Yes, maybe the rescue room really has a soul. This is not superstition, but the precipitation of life and emotional sustenance.
The soul of the rescue room is the soul of those who have gone and those who have not yet gone. It is my soul, the soul of nurse Zhao Dan, and the soul of love. The soul of the rescue room is the struggle and entanglement of life, the involuntary and insincere of people, the respect and remembrance of life…