March 25, 2005


My other thoughts on the Terri Schiavo case:

Back when I was in my second month of intern year, a lady came into the ER who had just had a massive stroke. She stopped breathing on her own, so she was put on a vent, but her heart was still beating. Being on call, I ended up spending the entire night in the ICU, essentially waiting for her heart to stop so I could start a code, get the doc from the ER to finish the code [small private hospital, we were the only ones around], and then pronounce her death. Her heart beat all that night. It was a damn long night.

The next day, waiting for my attending physician to arrive, I made the mistake of doing my physical examination in front of some of the family. I did the various reflexes, and the lady's granddaughter thought that her moving that way meant she was alive and conscious. EEG showed she was completely brain dead, and she was taken off the respirator that morning, after a meeting with various family members [I think eldest son and 2 grandchildren].

Yesterday, on the news, I saw the tapes that make people think Terri Schiavo is still conscious. I don't believe it. If you went into the room and she was always acting that way, maybe; if these tapes are 5 sec intervals gleaned from hours of video, no way.

Posted by Owlish at March 25, 2005 08:27 AM | TrackBack
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