Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ParamedicWannaBe

How did you handle your first lost?

Recommended Posts

The one call that really bothered me was a triple fatal accident. 26 y/o female, 17 y/o female, and an 8 y/o boy.(I found out the ages about a week later) The car had left the roadway and hit a tree on its top. The car horse-shoed around the tree, so the front and rear bumper were about 3 feet apart. The boys leg was hanging out and one of the females arms was hanging out. That was all you could see. My partner and I didn't even know there was a third person in the car. It took FD 4 hours to get the car cut apart enough to get the bodies out. For about a week that is all I could really think about.
Hmmm....hadn't really thought about it, but I think presentation of patient really can leave an impact on you...your story definitely seems like one that I would be thinking about for awhile. (Seems any ones where patient is found killed by trauma but still in mid action or you could tell what was going on before it happened....pizza slice still in mouth or still look like they've been flung around in car)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like a lot of old hands here, I can't remember my first death either. I guess it would have been about 10 yrs ago, but I have no recollection of the details.

There are always incidents that, for one reason or another, stick in your mind. Mine was the MVC on a sunny june morning. We were dispatched to the incident with very limited information. Approaching the scene I wondered why there were so many police officers present. And why they all seemed very stressed......

Once on scene I found out why. It was an unmarked police vehicle with 3 officers and a suspect. Two occupants had remained in the car but were obviously non-viable. The other two were ejected and lay in the grass with agonal resps. Where do you start? (you have to remember that I was the only EMS provider on scene at that point). Well I made my decision to start on the pt that I felt was most viable, thereby depriving victim nr 2 of a chance. The whole thing went down the drain from there.... I couldn't get the tube, we didn't have IO in those days and the IV wouldn't go in...... all the while I have at least 10 police around me all willing me to save their mate. The look in the eyes was enough.....at one point one of the female officers that I knew personally started to cry and I thought I was going to lose it too....

He didn't make it. That won't come as a surprise, I think.

I had difficulty in dealing with this situation for a while, moreso because my actions fell short of my own high expectations. It resulted in me having an extended period of leave to reflect on the situation. It took a while, but now I realise that the outcome had been as good as decided when the car rammed the tree at 100mph (no joke, this came out of the investigation...they had been transporting a very dangerous suspect and wanted to get him to the station fast).

As long as you know you've done your best for someone, there is no place for guilt or bargaining (what if...?), even though these are normal reactions. I find, too, that it helps to write things down. You can choose to keep it "up close and personal" in the form of a journal. However, were you to publish it here, it could be of benefit to others.

It also helps to talk, I find that this gives perspective. Whatever you do, don't carry it with you as a burden. Before you know it, that psychological bagage will get too heavy to carry.....

WM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 17 when I had my first loss in the line of EMS. We were on scene and our medic called for the ME. I was at a loss at what was going on. The fantasy world they always make it. They do their little thing and they live. Reality set in and she was gone. Plain and simple. I simply climbed up in the back of the truck closed the door shed the tears for her and said a little prayer. Each situation is different. Alcohol related deaths and children effect me the worst. I keep a journal. i write my emotions out but never read them. That seems to help. Having a good support system is a good thing. Everyone is different and everyone situation is different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first loss was during my first responder days... the all of one whole year they lasted before I caved in and went EMT. I was 17 years old and on my usual Wednesdat night duty shift with my mentor/MRT instructor. We got called to an unconcious, unresponsive. My parter had went to the scene because she lived near by, so my driver and I got the rig. Arrive on scene, FD said to grab a board its code 100 (CPR is in progress). All I could think was great, thanks for the update en-route... we do have radios.

During calls like these in a volly department Im sure you all know everyone comes out of the woodwork, even members you may not know exist. Even being a part of the ambulance crew didnt get me inside to the patient because of overcrowding. Finally when we get in back of the rig its my partner (who had now been doing compressions for over 5 minutes), the medic and medic student pushing drugs, and me bagging. I remember her asking me to take over compressions, I had never seen her so exhausted before, and we switched with what looked like surgical precision and coreography. The drive to the clinic seemed to take forever, it was hot and crowded and here I am standing over a dead body trying to maintain balance and adequit compressions (which the medic said were perfect, a shock to me) all while going down the (would be smoother as dirt/gravel) back roads of Westbrook. Anyways we got to the clinic where she was pronounced and after I cleaned up the rig I kinda hung back to relax, I was tired.

The medic and my partner knew this was a first for me, CPR and loss... so they came outside to sort of debrief me. I recieved many compliments for my form during compressions, the way I tri-podded myself to keep balance among other things. This was before all these ambulance and fire truck crashes and before people started urging seatbelt use at all times.

Two things stuck with me from that call. 1) the few minutes I was inside I saw a picture of the patient, she was incredably beautiful for a woman in her late 50s early 60s. This pretty much gave me an understanding of thoes people who say thats not my husband/wife/etc hooked up to all thoes machines. You never woulda guessed it was her. 2) nothing about the loss actually upset me, I was expecting to be upset or disturbed (that feeling of not doing good enough) but I was fine. I cared about her and her family, but in the end it didnt matter. I felt cold. To this day fatalities do not bother me... Im sure itll catch up one time or another though, we arnt invincible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First and foremost I would like to introduce myself. I am currently residing in NYC. I am starting school to gain my A.A.S. in Paramedics this coming September.

I knew that I was always cut out to work with patients in the medical field. I also work better under pressure, which is why I choose to become a medic. Now my two biggest fears are dealing with burned victims and losing a patient.

How did you deal with your first lost and how did you deal with your first burnt victim? Oh yeah did I mention I would like to apply a position with the FDNY? :roll: I know it must sound crazy for me to chose to work for them, but I always here about the abundant amount of OT, which is why I've opt to work with them.

All response would be greatly appreciated. :)

The first burned victim I had wasn't really bad. It didn't look like much. It didn't have a face, hair etc. The entestines were hanging out and it had had some obvious fractures and well...we have to use a shouvel to put the body in the bag but... :)

As for the first loss. For me it was a bit different as I worked in a dispatch centre for a long time before going on the streets so from my point of view it was a lot worst as your mind likes to make you dwell on things you don't see.

My first code? It was a bit rougher for me and will admit I went into a good depression for a short period afterwards. I really got to know that patient before the arrest took place and we knew the parents quite well as well so that didnt help. I do know we did everything we could do so in that sense I never felt bad BUT...my partner and I played Mario Party and ate junk food the rest of that night. We were both in a daze for quite some time before everything sunk in and we moved on.

I don't think you ever get used to it, but you do find more ways to deal with them and will learn from each experience. Part of life. Babies are born, and people die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...