So last night I was working at the local trauma center, we get the call "Trauma Code – 5 minutes". Trauma code means that the patient is basically dead or almost dead and it is due to some sort of trauma. Not knowing exactly what is coming in, we headed to the trauma bay. Gloved and waiting, we here that it was a GSW (gun shot wound). Patient is rushed into the trauma bay by the paramedics. On initial exam, the patient is unresponsive and lifeless. He has no pulse. The patient has multiple holes in both side of his groin. We immediately intubate the patient. The trauma team opens the chest. Nothing. Fluids are pouring in and central line is placed. We gave epinephrine and then atropine. Now the patient has a pulse. I quickly placed the ultrasound probe on the abdomen to make sure there was no free fluid. Nothing. Blood is started. We now have bleeding from the holes in the groin. The patient was rushed to the operating room. He survived the surgery and was moved to the ICU.
This patient was lucky. The patient was lucky he was not found just a few minutes later. Lucky it did not take longer to get to the hospital. Lucky we were able to resuscitate the patient. It is rare thing that a trauma code survives. It is usually a futile exercise. But we do not play odds when it comes to patient care. In the ER, we always go all out on everyone no matter what their chances because occasionally we all get lucky and a life is saved.