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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Emergency Room Diaries #4: Woman Down! (By Winnie Brady, M.D.)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Here I go, back into sad mode again. Sorry about that! But that is life..que sera, sera.

A woman comes to the E.R. without any apparent signs of life. She was the victim of a near-drowning, and all attempts to save her life proved to be futile.

We had a baddun come into our E.R. today. A woman apparently had gone swimming, and she was pulled unconscious from the water. She had a seizure, and she went under; by the time people realized what had happened, it was too late.

An ambulance was called; soon after, paramedics arrived at the scene. The incident took place at a local park, and it was a warm, partly sunny day, not the type of day where you would imagine something this awful happening. The woman was pulled out of the water, and soon, paramedics were working on her, trying to get her breathing again and trying to get her heart going again.

The woman was young: she was probably in her later 20's to early 30's, with long, wavy dirty blonde hair that looked brown when wet, and was quite slender and tall in build. She looked like she could have been a model. Her skin was pale and pearlescent, and her fingernail beds and lips were blue from lack of oxygen. She was delivered to our E.R., and we immediately put her onto the resuscitation table, where we immediately sought to save her life and tried to revive her.

Tubes and lines were soon affixed to her limp body after her clothes had been removed; she now lay naked and vulnerable as we tried to get any vital sign readings from her. She was not responding, and things looked very bad. I was the one who was in charge of the woman's breathing; my job was to "tube her" (put an ET, or endotracheal, tube down her windpipe and to her lungs) and get oxygen going to her lungs and to her brain before irreversable brain damage set in. I then was to attach an Ambu, or breathing, bag to it and squeeze the rubber bag, every few seconds, as a means of manually breathing for her. Her name, according to the ID in her purse that had been found at the scene was Sherrica Ann Gomez, and she was 25 years old. She worked at a local bank, and she was married (but if she had any kids, that we didn't know at this time). She had epilepsy, and she wore a MedicAlert necklace stating of her condition; and up until her near-drowning, she had her condition under control.

Louisiana Sandusky, the little charge nurse here at NMH, was barking orders, sounding very much bigger than her slight, 4'7" tall frame, and she then disappeared for a minute. When she returned, she said that the woman's husband was in the waiting room; and I told her to stay with the man while we continued to try to resuscitate the unconscious woman on the table.

The efforts we poured into trying to revive her proved to be unsuccessful. No matter what we did, or how we did it, we could not get a pulse, or even a heartbeat, back. The woman was dead, and there was nothing, no medications, no pounding or pushing on her chest, or prayers, that could have brought her back. She was as dead as dead could be, and we were going to have to learn to cope with it as best as we could and then move on towards the next case. It was a hell day, and it left all of us feeling spent, exhausted, and majorly depressed.

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 7/27/2004
I agree with Karla this is a heartbreaking write, but so very well done...
God Bless
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/27/2004

heartbreaking read, excellent, dramatically penned story. well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, karla. :(

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