Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rough Day at Work

I had a rough day at work recently.  I was in the ER doing my usual thing, seeing the routine things we see in the ER, plus a chest pain, asthma, altered mental status, etc.  Afternoon rolled around and we got a call about an EMS unit that had responded to an MVA (motor vehicle accident).  We were informed that they were on the way with a pediatric trauma code.

EMS called with a history of a child that had been hit by a truck after getting off of her school bus.  The bus was stopped, signs out, door open. The little girl bounced out of the bus and started across the street when she was struck by a large truck speeding past the stopped school bus. 

The little girl had no vital signs on the arrival of the first unit, but they instituted resuscitation attempts anyway and rushed her in to the ED.  Resuscitation and transport were futile, and the attending physician that day pronounced her dead almost as fast at she was moved to the treatment room stretcher.  The sheer force of an 18-wheeled tractor-trailer vs. the frail body of a 6-year old child obliterated any hope that she would have survived.

I saw the bus driver later.  She was, naturally, very badly shaken by the incident. I listened as she recounted, in excruciating detail, the split-second event that took the life of the little girl, and forever impacted the life of this driver, the child's grandmother who watched this tragedy occur from their yard, the child's other family members and likely some of the horrified students that watching from the bus.  I knew that she, and many others, would likely suffer from some level of PTSD.  The driver herself, returned to the ER within 48 hours with an MI.  I myself pondered how I would feel if such a thing were to happen with own little girl stepping off her bus and couldn't even imagine it.

I love you Victoria.