Step away from the baby

Childbirth call. Some lady just delivered a baby at home.

I’m with the talkative part-timer again, who seems to be a little nervous.

But we make it to the call, and I finish my bagel without losing any cream cheese.

We encounter the first member of the fire brigade outside the well-appointed home. We can hear a baby crying, which is a good sign. At least it’s a sign that this is a legitimate call.

“Everyone’s in yonder” he says, pointing in the direction of the home.

Duh.

Sure enough, there’s a baby. Umbilical cord attached, but cut, being wrapped up by another member of the fire brigade.

Mom looks alright. Considering.

Wait. What’s that? That guy is getting out the IV kit? Whoa. Hold up. That other guy, he looks like he’s cleaning the baby’s arm and feeling for a- holy shit, that’s a tourniquet! Why the hell is there a tourniquet on the baby’s arm?!

“Hey, uh, what’s going on here, what’s happening?”

“Oh, we’re just looking for a vein.”

“Mmmkay, I see that, but why are you looking for a vein?”

“Well, the baby seems kind of lethargic, and the blood sugar was kind of low, so we were going to give some D50.”

What in the actual fuck are they talking about? “Well, what were the baby’s Apgar scores?”

“The what?”

“Apgar.”

“What’zat?”

Christ on a cracker. “Okay, what was the blood sugar?”

“Uh, lemme look, it was…42.”

“The blood sugar was 42?”

“Yeah.”

“On a newborn?”

“Yeah.”

“And you were going to start an IV and give D50?”

“Yeah.”

I have now put my hands into my pockets, lest I slap a civil servant upside his head. “How much D50 were you going to give?”

“Uh, like ten ml?”

So five freaking grams of dextrose. “What’s a normal blood sugar for a newborn?”

“Uh, between 80 and 120?”

“Give me the baby.”

“But…”

“Give me the baby and get out.”

 

Comments

  1. Flash Larry says:

    You know, I read this first a few weeks ago right after it posted.

    I was sort of gobsmacked as my Australian friends say.

    I’ve re-read it and thought about it for a while and I have a question.

    Why are these people responding to anything at all?

    If “primum non nocere” is valid, the first way to insure that no harm is done is to keep them on their side of the public safety fence.

    It’s more than a little scary.

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