By Joseph Mwangi, Emergency and Critical Care Clinical Officer, Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital
It was an ordinary day, around 1 p.m. when a 55-year-old male patient was brought to the emergency department by his wife and two concerned neighbours. The patient had a history of profuse, watery diarrhoea for the past two days, and his condition had deteriorated rapidly. Upon arrival, the patient was in critical condition – gasping for breath, with cold and clammy extremities, and his blood pressure and pulse were unrecordable.
First and foremost, a resuscitation team was promptly mobilized. Our team initiated rescue breaths immediately and swiftly inserted two large-bore IV cannulas. The patient’s resuscitation journey began immediately with intravenous fluid boluses and immediate administration of antibiotics. Blood samples were collected for crucial lab tests to aid in diagnosing and treating the patient effectively. The team worked diligently and cohesively to provide the best care in this life-threatening situation. Remarkably, after 30 minutes of diligent efforts, the patient’s condition improved significantly. The once gasping patient began to breathe independently, and consciousness returned. The relief and hope in the room were palpable as the patient was now stable and could communicate with a few words.
Thanks to the timely recognition of Shock and the prompt, well-coordinated interventions, a life was saved! The patient was subsequently transferred to the Cholera treatment unit for further care, with a positive outlook for recovery. A few days later, the same patient walked out of the hospital, unaware of how close he had come to a life-threatening situation.
This heartwarming success story is a testament to the power of early recognition, immediate interventions, and exceptional teamwork.
Together, we can make a difference!