I couldn't help but share this amazing story from one of my favorite features - Dr. Niamey Wilson. She exemplifies all that is good about medicine, and embodies the idea that heroes never take time off.
"Today was, well… uh, totally crazy. I am still a little jittery from this, but felt like I need to get it off my chest. So here goes (warning: long detailed post). While driving to work today, there was a 3 car accident on the opposite side of the highway. Literally must have been about 30 seconds before I arrived, because there was no traffic, and no one else had pulled over yet. I pulled over to the median and ran over to one of the cars, which was completely totaled. I saw that there was someone trying to get out of the other car, so I knew they were okay. As I approached the car in the median, I noticed that I ran by a car engine…. which had been entirely ejected from the front hood. I saw that there was a young woman, unconscious, slumped to the side, in the driver’s seat, every airbag deployed and broken glass everywhere. Reaching in, I felt a carotid pulse, but she wasn’t breathing. So, not good.
I tried wrenching open the side door. That wasn’t going to happen – totally busted in. I ran around to the other side. Opened the driver’s side door. The vents in the dashboard had smoke coming out of them …. I thought about an explosion but I knew the engine wasn’t in the car. Again reached in and felt a pulse, but still not breathing, lips turning blue. Quick assessment revealed a badly fractured left arm, otherwise just abrasions but unconscious.
Yelled to someone to make sure 911 was on their way. I had 2 guys get in the car and help me lift her out, vERy carefully. Still unconscious, pupils were dilated. Mouth full of blood.
She then lost her pulse. I started CPR. EMS still wasn’t there. We didn’t have an airway, and no one was carrying a mask. I tried to give a breath – too much blood everywhere. Continued CPR. EMS still not there. She was turning blue and pupils were dilated and fixed.
Firemen and State Troopers showed up, started manually bagging her. Finally EMS arrived, hooked her up to the monitor. Asystole. They intubated her. They placed a line in her leg, and we gave her a round of epi. Asystole. More CPR. Another epi. Asystole. CPR.
And then......we got a pulse back."