The phone rang on the nightstand, and I sighed while grabbing it.
'Doctor, they have an emergency in Room 11.'
'Ok, I'm coming.'
I put the phone down and exited the oppressive call room, where as the scheduled 'doc-in-the-box' on duty, I was busy frittering away 24 hours of my life.
My 11-year-old-son had state exams the next day, and I hoped my 17-year-old daughter would make sure he studied. I knew they would probably watch TV and eat microwave food on the sofa instead.
The role of the 'doc-in-the-box' is to provide attending coverage for the Residents in Labor and Delivery. In 1992, the Residency Review Board (a national organization which sets standards for residency training) mandated 'in-house' coverage. I know they were correct in this decision, but they didn't have to sit in a cell for 24 hours either.
I jogged the short distance to Room 11; assuming that the private patient was delivering while her doctor was unavailable. The other duty of the 'doc-in-the-box' is to cover for the private patients when their doctors aren't immediately available. I didn't know too much about this patient, other than it was her third baby, and she was being induced for some reason.
There are 14 Labor Rooms on our unit. I have some that I like better than others, and one I just hate. It's not the size or outfitting of the room, they're all pretty similar. It's not about any numerological theory, although I find all of that interesting. It's about my previous experiences in the various rooms.
For example, Room 8 is small, but I have missed more deliveries while jogging in that direction than any of the other rooms. (Several of the nurses insist the ghost of a baby haunts Room 8). Room 2 is evil, and I try to have my patients placed anywhere else. I had this very difficult delivery in Room 2 many years ago.
The mom and baby were ok, but Room 2 still pisses me off. Room 14 is the 'high drama' room, and patients seem to do an amount of screaming that actually exceeds the necessity of the situation.
I burst into Room 11 about 20 seconds after I was called, and saw the large uncovered back of a pregnant woman facing me. Two female residents were standing by this woman's head, their expressions frantic. The patient's buttocks had a lacy pattern of purple mottling where blood was not currently arriving.
The thought, 'Holy fuck!! Why is this patient dying?' fired off my neurons about 1 millionth of a nanosecond before the diagnosis popped up: amniotic fluid embolism. This rare diagnosis complicates a very small number of labors, but carries a very high mortality rate.
The exact cause is not completely clear, but the clinical pattern of labor inductions and multiparous patients seem to increase the risk.
The two residents looked imploringly at me as I jogged around the bed.
'Doctor, we can't get an airway!'
The patient's face was deep red drifting into purple. Her jaw was clenched firmly shut. I began issuing multiple orders and questions simultaneously to the nurse.
From deep under the oceans, far from any sunlight, to high up in spewing volcanoes, life forms have been found on our planet. Even deep in the arctic ice, life forms have been found to exist.
For life is tenacious, if it can exist it will exist, this is the way of nature. Soon, yes very soon, I'm sure we will find life forms on other planets in our solar system. Indeed I'd be very surprised if the whole universe were not teaming with some form of primeval life or another.
Articles - You Scare Me By Alex
'You scare me'
Having that said to you, just once, is one time too many. Why? Why was this person scared of me? Drunken rage? Membership in the BNP? A predilection for bumming puppies? Nope, none of those (admittedly scary) things.
I had done nothing but acquire a label; 'Psychotic'.
So what do people understand by that? Usually it's some media inspired portrayal of a reality avoiding, maniac
with a large blade. The reality is both fairer and fouler than the common perception.
No, psychotics are not automatically or overwhelmingly prone to violence or abuse.
Articles - Channel 4 Students and Friday Night Stars By Phil Prethero
2007, The One Stop 24 Hour Shop, High Street, Lincoln
It's Saturday, it's 7 in the morning, and I'm at work, hung over, stood here like a trampled on torn up tampon - of use to absolutely nobody.
Why the fuck I agreed to these shifts is beyond me, normal people at the age of 21 and in their last year of uni are in bed at this time, they'll get up at about 11,
Articles - Can You Help? Hull Clubs in the Sixties Keith Fairhurst
I wonder if you can help me. I am searching for the name of a 1965 Hull beat club.
The club was at the end of a passageway between two buildings off a one-way street in the centre of the city. It had a small opening/courtyard in front of the main entrance. The passageway was on the right hand side as you travelled down the street.
I believe it was called The Black Cat Club or Kontiki ClubRead more...
Articles - The Interview: The Four Ps - Plan, Prepare, Participate and Be Positive.By Mike Kemp, CV Satisfaction
As individuals who are looking to find employment the interview proves to be the
most daunting task.
But this doesn't have to be the case using the four P's system:
Plan, Prepare, Participate and Be Positive.
This is a system that was devised by CV Satisfaction which covers all areas
of the interview from the beginning to the end. Let's look at each one individually.
Articles - Apple iPod Touch; The iPhone Without the Phone Reviewed by Mo
Ok so first of all I'm over 50, with a pretty crap social life and like most of my generation, mobile phones reside in a blind spot of my brain. The fiddly keys, address books and ridiculous lose-ablity of the device help to keep it there.
Last time I called my (£15 pay as you go from Woolies) mobile in an attempt to find it, it was answered by a lovely police officer lady at the Reading Station's lost and found.
Articles - Jody McKenna and The Secret Millionaire (show to be aired Sunday 26th April 09 Channel 4) By Michelle Dee
Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget was the title of singer/songwriters
and Dave Saxby latterly of The Peasants debut album
Jody could be forgiven for thinking those dreams of grandeur and prosperity had
finally been realised when Channel 4's Secret Millionaire presented him with
a cheque for twenty grand.
Articles - I Got Married By Ruth
I got married (my one and only time) in 1981. It was November and I was a college student in West Texas. My husband to be was five years older than I. He was very rugged/handsome, and a former football player in a land where football is king.
In fairness, this tale should be told with a Greek Chorus (you know, those people with white robes that say stuff like, 'Don't eat that, it's poison!' or
Articles - National Recognition for thisisUll.com - Fringe Report Awards 2009 By Cilla Photographs by Carl Schofield and Mo.
Monday 9th February 2009 was a landmark date for thisisUll.com and all
its contributors. On your behalf, I had the honour of accepting the
Fringe Report 2009 award for Best Publication.
Fringe Report, under the guidance and leadership of its editor
John Park is based in London. It reviews and supports fringe theatre,
arts, independent and arthouse film, dance, performance,
Articles - What The Doctor Did Next By James Marsters
So, we all know by now that The Eleventh Doctor will be played by none other than
household name Matt Smith. Okay, okay, so maybe he's not a household name now but
what will the future hold for the 26-year old once he has hung up his sonic
screwdriver and given back the keys to the TARDIS? Judging by the other ten
actors to have played the Time Lord, it's anyone's guess.
Articles - If Hull Were Gaza, 3rd January 2009 By Martin Deane
If Hull were Gaza there would be some 384 casualties of family and friends, with about 64 dead.
These are spread across the city killed or wounded by bombs dropped or missiles fired from state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets. (These jets, by the way, regularly overfly the city at supersonic speeds making a frightening boom through the sound barrier.
Articles - Dear Diary By Ruth
It is New Years Day 2009. I just left my hospital, the same one I trained in 18 years ago. I've only changed the names of those I like. Everyone else can screw off.
I had a lovely weekend on call. Here's a taste of my time as an intern rotating on general surgery.
The patient was a 14-year-old Hispanic female.
Articles - Last of 2008 - The Story of www.thisisUll.com By Cilla Wykes, Editor
Well it's that time of year again; time to look back, forward and then try to get the present into focus. Instead of writing a review of 2008, I'm publishing my personal history of thisisUll.com, telling my story of the 5 years we've been here ...
Throughout my life the kitchen table has been a place of immense significance.
The hub of what's going on in everybody's life. It's where problems are pondered
Articles - Confessions of a Webmaster By Mo
I'm not sure what year it was, somewhere mid winter, I had been dragged in to work as a consultant developer for Smith Barney, to work on a rather hairy problem they could not solve themselves. A reporting problem, to deliver reports on cross currency swaps, derivative products with complex accumulators outside the scope of their existing software