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POV: PEs never get used to death : Emergency Medicine News


resuscitation, mourning

It is not the corpse, but it is death.

I was about to sigh with relief after a hectic six-hour shift when the ambulance siren sounded loudly. An elderly woman accompanied by her grandson came towards us panting. This is a routine scenario for emergency physicians during a typical busy shift. Resuscitation lasted more than an hour – chest compressions, shocking the patient.

We couldn’t save her.

Just like that, another death.

I started medical school 12 years ago, and a lot of friends and relatives asked me what it was like when I first saw a corpse in the dissecting room, but it It was actually easy for me to acclimate to a corpse.

Then I started my residency in emergency medicine. The work of an emergency physician begins when someone’s heart stops. We are doing everything in our power to restart that heart. I was taught to restart a heart, to celebrate the victory of saving a patient’s life, to learn from every situation, to announce the news of the death of a loved one to family and friends. I’ve grown accustomed to being the stranger bringing bad news on what is undoubtedly one of the worst days of someone’s life. I was never taught, however, how to deal with a death.

I’ve witnessed many deaths as an emergency physician, but I’m still not ready for the next one.

I will never be ready to listen to a monitor go beep, beep, beep…beep…beep……….beep…………… . .beep beep……………… ……….

The feeling of emptiness inside.

The feeling of helplessness.

The feeling of being tiny in the face of the law of nature.

The feeling of not being enough.

The feeling of grief.

The feeling of heaviness.

The realization that life comes with an expiration date.

The overwhelming silence.

The sensation hits harder and harder each time.

Nothing can prepare me for this feeling.

A non-medical person sees death two or three times in their lifetime. But emergency doctors witness deaths two or three times a week, perhaps more on crazy shifts.

It is not the corpse, but it is death.

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Dr Shahis the Chief of Emergency Department at Kiran Multi-Specialty Hospital in Surat, Gujarat, India.