As a nurse, I’m always cheered when I see a patient who appears to be making a good recovery. That certainly seemed the case with 60-year-old Tom Kennard, who’d been suffering from sepsis after surgery for cancer.
After a couple weeks in the intensive care ward, he was well enough to be moved from his hospital bed to a chair. Moments later, however, he suddenly slumped into unconsciousness.
There was no doubt at all that he was out cold. He responded neither to my urgent questions nor to the painful pressure of my Biro on his fingernails.
Worse still, his skin became clammy, his oxygen levels dropped and his blood pressure plummeted — clear signs that his condition had become critical.
As I quickly gave him extra oxygen, I called out to the other nurses in the intensive care unit. Four of them immediately flocked to Tom’s bedside, and we gently helped return him to his bed as we called for a doctor urgently.
He was still unresponsive when the doctor arrived, followed a few minutes later by a consultant.
Indeed, Tom didn’t regain full consciousness for another three hours.