Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

6Apr/07Off

I just killed my first patient

A newborn infant presented in acute distress, cyanotic, breathing quickly. A pre-op chest X-ray revealed a congenital abnormality - transposition of the great vessels - where the aorta arises directly from the right ventricle, effectively cutting the lungs out of the picture. No blood flow through the lungs means no oxygen to the body, which means death.

Luckily this kid had a patent ductus arteriosus, which allowed a small amount of blood to leak back into his lungs, barely keeping him alive. My only job was to keep the ductus open until the surgeons could get him to the OR. I gave him indomethacin, thinking that it would stabilize the ductus... but which instead closed it and immediately killed him. Rarely do you do the exact opposite of what you should.

Thank god it was only on QBank.

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  1. ew! you scared me!!! until i read the last part. thanks for almost giving me a heart attack!!!!


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