Emergency Doctor to Resus STAT

It is a quiet day in the Emergency Department, when I hear the overhead call, “Emergency Doctor to Resus, Emergency Doctor to Resus STAT”. These are the words that every new emergency physician loves and dreads to hear. Loves, because this is what we train for, and dreads because it means that someone is having a very bad day. As I walk into the resuscitation bay, I notice the buzz of nurses in room five. Three nurses are trying to get an intravenous line into a two-year-old boy who has been suffering from a seizure that will not stop.

At his bedside is his father, who also happens to be one of our emergency nurses. As the first three intravenous line attempts fail, I call for the intraosseous. Within a minute I establish an intraosseous line, we push both Ativan, a medication to stop seizures, and some IV sugar.

In a minute or two, the child stops seizing. A relieved father stands by the bedside in tears, finally able to hold his child who was seizing continuously for almost 20 minutes.  That is what emergency medicine is all about. It is about working with a team of dedicated nurses, respiratory therapists and fellow physicians to act quickly and decisively to help those who need it most. It is quite literally about saving lives and making a difference.