Five GSW's


It was about 5 am and the drama had died down in Surgery ER. Most all of our patients were in the OR, the ICU, transferred to an in house bed or were *OTD.

We were pretty well ‘done in’ and several of us had been sitting on stretchers, when the overhead page came from triage… “Surgery... Five *GSW’s on the dock.”

Hopping off our stretchers and steering them towards the front loading dock, we found five, well dressed women wailing in pain and anxiety, who had been shot multiple times and literally dumped at our front door.

Each nurse scooped up a patient and snagged a *PCA, intern and/or medical student. We headed for an available trauma room and got busy.

My patient was agitated and howling so loudly that any attempts to calm her fell on deaf ears. Ours. Her loud and incessant wail was heard throughout Trauma Hall. Calming her was necessary in order to deliver good trauma care and to improve her outcome but it was more important to do what we were trained to do. Oxygen, IV’s, monitoring and diagnostic studies were initiated. Exposing every square inch of her body was necessary to determine any unknown wounds or injuries.

It was at about that time that I learned my hysterical patient was going to be alright. I also learned that ‘she’ was actually ‘he’ and I was surprised to notice how my approach to calming ‘him’ was markedly different than how I attempted to calm ‘her’. Food for thought.

Word travels fast down Trauma Hall and the same discovery was being made at about the same time in each of the five trauma rooms.

Luckily, all five GSW’s were not mortally wounded and would be OK. Unluckily, their wives were on their way to the ER and our patients were getting a little nervous.


*OTD - Out the Door
*GSW - Gun Shot Wound
*PCA - Patient Care Assistant

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Heather said...

DOH! Hilarious. I would have LOVED to know the story behind that one. Thanks for sharing your adventures!