Saturday, January 10, 2009

Emergency Room Joy

WOW...4+ hours later and I have just gotten home from a trip to the Emergency Room with Justin. We have had quite the excitement tonight! Justin cut his hand quite deeply on a piece of glass from a picture frame and we couldn't get it to stop bleeding. came the EMT's and Fire Department. Nice guys!! The 911 operator had given us good instruction on how to lessen the bleeding and then the emergency crew helped to make sure he wasn't going to bleed to death on us. They wrapped it with some gauze and made sure it had a good pressure on the wound. We opted to drive Justin to the ER ourselves and quickly were seen by the RN's and even a Dr! Then the wait began!!!

After the Dr. had cut off the bandage looked at the wound, she told us her A-team would be coming to sew him up. So, with the wound covered lightly by the cut bandage, we sat there and waited, and waited, and waited. Then, Justin says, "I feel liquid running down my arm!" Sure enough, there was a river of blood streaming down his wrist. So, I wiped it off and we went back to waiting and reading a comic book together. A few minutes later, more blood flowing down his arm. I got a couple of napkins from the dispenser and laid them under Justin's hand. It wasn't long until Justin said, "I feel wetness on my leg!" The bleeding had gotten worse and now his brand new gray courderoy pants had a huge blood stain! Okay, it was time for help.

One of the nurses walked by and I asked if there was something we could lay on his lap since the bleeding was ruining his clothing. She came over and lifted the bandage to see what was up....there, up on his forearm, was a sign of arterial bleeding!!!!!! She was cool about it but immediately started checking out the wound more. She could see a pulsing when the wound was bleeding and so she put a pressure, and I mean PRESSURE, bandage and wrapped his hand to see if the bleeding would stop. Back to waiting.

When the Resident came to do the stitches, he knew that he needed to be watching for the arterial bleed signs. As he removed the pressure wrap, he was surprised by the amount of blood that had bled out. If there had only be veinous bleeding, the pressure bandage would have stopped the flow. With the amount of blood on the pressure bandage, it indicated that indeed the artery had been nicked or cut. So, before he began the stitching, he placed a blood pressure cuff on Justin's forearm and pumped it up to 120 to slow the blow of blood to the hand.

After the injections of the Lydocaine and Epi, which Justin was VERY brave in how he handled the pain, Dr. Brown, the Resident, and a student PA, gave Justin 8 very nice stitches. Justin says it looks like a cat's face with all the "whiskers" on his smiley shaped cut. LOL Justin just about talked the ears off the doctor but the doctor enjoyed the banter and was very patient with him!

Justin and his wrapped hand. The cut is at the base of his Right thumb.
I will try to get a shot of the "whiskers" tomorrow.
The pressure of the bandage needs to stay on his hand to make sure he
doesn't continue to bleed.

Right now as I type, I am crying as I realize how close we came to having a serious injury tonight! The artery must have been nicked and with the initial pressure from me as we waited on the ambulance and then the first pressure bandage, there was no spray of blood. But after the removal of the bandage and Justin moving around while waiting for 1 and half hours to have the stitches put in, the nick grew larger. I am very thankful that God had his hand on Justin and didn't allow him to "bleed out" from an arterial cut! I am also thankful that though the cut is VERY deep and over 5 centimeters long, there was no nerve or tendon damage! Justin will still have full mobility and feeling in his thumb and hand. He WILL have a very impressive scar as a reminder!

With the earthquake last night and this cut tonight, I hope my children are listening to the warnings God is giving them! The earthquake happened as I was dealing with attitude from Jessi and tonight's experience came because of an explosion of temper after being teased. No, Justin did not punch anything or break anything. However, he did storm off into the front room and in the dark did not see that Jessi had left a piece of glass from a picture frame lying in the chair he threw himself onto in his fit of anger.

Jessi learned a lesson tonight...follow through and put things in their proper place. Justin learned that he should not overreact and throw a "fit" when he is upset. Marissa learned that she should not tease her brother and cause him to sin in his anger. I learned that I still have a love for medicine and a fascination with how things were done tonight in the care of Justin's wound. Who knows, perhaps I will find a way to complete my education in the field of medicine of some sort, as well as pursuing my love of Speech communication.

I pray your evening was less eventful than ours. This has been quite cathartic to write about the experience AND it has helped me to finally wind down and be sleepy enough to finally crawl into bed and rest. Pray for Justin to heal quickly and for the McVay family to listen and learn from all life's lessons!!!

Good night...ummm...morning... :-)