============================== >>>For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.. I Corinthians 2: 2<<<=============================
Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2013

Dr. Elder (Part I)

Elder (Part I)

Dr. Elder, come immediately to the trauma centre!’ The announcement came suddenly over the intercom, on a relatively quiet evening at my local hospital. There were no ambulances out on call that we were aware of, and I had just stepped down the hall to the doctors’ lounge for a snack. A sudden call like that usually meant one thing – someone had arrived by private car, in acute distress, rather than by the usual ambulance transport.

This could often be a myocardial infarction, severe respiratory distress, or a sick infant. Occasionally it would be a knife or gun injury that occurred near the hospital. With a call like that, you could always be sure that it would be a true emergency.

As I entered the trauma suite seconds later, there was a female patient in her late twenties with two stab wounds in her left anterior chest, directly over her heart! She was in extremely unstable condition and was breathing sporadically. As I established an airway by intubating her, the nurses were completing their initial phase of treatment that included recording vital signs, setting up intravenous catheters and monitors, and taking blood for laboratory tests. I thought how fortunate it was to have such a good and experienced trauma team in a state-of-the-art trauma treatment facility. During the next few moments, it became obvious that the patient was not stable, but was deteriorating. Even more seriously, she was developing symptoms that could only mean one thing – cardiac tamponade.

Cardiac tamponade is a condition following a penetrating wound to the heart. This produces bleeding into the sac that surrounding the heart, thereby compressing the heart, and inhibiting its life sustaining pumping action. The patient’s blood pressure was steadily dropping, and I turned to the head nurse and asked for the thoracotomy tray.

In the speciality of Emergency Medicine, the ‘open thoracotomy’ is probably the most dramatic procedure. This involves making an incision between the fifth and sixth ribs in order to expose the heart, lungs, and major vessels in an effort to control bleeding. This is the procedure we initiated, and as I lifted the lung to expose the heart, it was obvious that this was indeed cardiac tamponade. By making an incision in the membranes of the sac surrounding the heart, the pressure was relieved and the heart was able to function correctly. By this time, the heart had been unable to beat for about two minutes due to compression, and an intracardiac injection of adrenaline was needed to ‘jump start’ the heart.

This was accomplished, and the patient’s vital signs returned with a pulse of about 100, and a blood pressure of 120/80. However, the stab wound continued to bleed, so I had to release the pressure around the heart intermittently. I achieved this by keeping my fingers over the incision, and allowing a release of pressure every few minutes. This went on for about 20 minutes, whilst we awaited the arrival of the thoracic surgeon, and the operating room was prepared. When everything was ready, we moved the patient to the operating room, with my hand in her chest cavity to allow continual release of rebuilding pressure in the pericardial sac.

The surgery went smoothly. The stab wound to the heart was repaired and the patient was sent to I.C.U. I returned to my duties in the trauma centre. Later that evening my curiosity got the better of me and I asked her if she remembered anything from her clinical death experience of several minutes. She was still intubated and on a ventilator, and so could not speak, but she shook her head indicating that she remembered nothing. The look in her eyes and squeeze of my hand told me she was very grateful to be alive.

Several weeks later I received a very nice thank you letter from the patient and her mother. Her mother made the comment that she knew that the Lord was guiding me that night and I wholeheartedly agreed, as things had gone very smoothly and her recovery had been remarkable. The thank you was deeply appreciated, but I was not prepared for the rest of the story.

About six weeks later a woman in her late twenties arrived in the trauma centre with her young daughter and requested to see me. At first I did not recognize her, as I had not seen her since visiting her in I.C.U., but my visitor was that former patient who was now completely recovered. As we began to talk, she related the most amazing story to me and to the nursing staff, many of who did not know the Lord.

She said ‘On the evening when you visited me, after you left I drifted back to sleep. I awakened the next morning as the hospital chaplain was giving the morning devotion over the intercom.

                                                                                           To Be Continued…

Source:  The Final Frontier 

    Thanks to: Dr. Elder

   Abad of Jesus Christ,

    Stulo Robinson.S.



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====================================>>>Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31 <<<====================================