A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
As I write this I am sad, as I am sitting in front of a sick baby. His
parents block my field of vision. But even if they were not sitting right
there, my eyes would not be focused on him. Watching him does not tell me
what I need to know. I watch the ICU monitor that is mounted about 4 feet
above the head of his open crib. Green numbers tell me that his heart is beating.
Red numbers tell me that he has a blood pressure. Blue numbers tell me his
pulse oximeter reading. White numbers tell me his respiratory rate. Though
these numbers look fine for the moment, I know this baby is dying. His parents
know he is dying. The cardiac surgeon, intensive care physician, and nurses
all know he is dying.
Moreno MA. The Cross-Cover Resident. JAMA. 2003;289(8):956-957. doi:10.1001/jama.289.8.956