Thursday, December 01, 2005

Things you hate to hear over the hospital loudspeaker

Was grabbing a cup of coffee between patients the other day and heard this:

"COR-0, pediatric, emergency department, ETA five minutes...COR-0, pediatric, emergency department, ETA five minutes"

In this hospital, that means: A child whose heart has stopped and who is not breathing is en route and will arrive in the emergency room in five minutes.

Moments later I heard the desperate scream of the ambulance, louder and louder as it approached.

Imagining the parents of the child, all the relatives, the friends, all the hopes and dreams that accompany the birth of any baby, all reduced to one cluster of words: "COR-0, pediatric, emergency department, ETA five minutes..." What must they have been feeling.

It was one of those times when the only thing I can possibly do is stop right in my tracks and breathe a prayer: God be with them, oh, God, PLEASE be with them.


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