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From the Heart
September 30, 2020

The Wrong Side of the Bed

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cardiology Department, Royal Gwent Hospital, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2Endocrinology Department, Royal Gwent Hospital, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 3Cardiology Department, Nevill Hall Hospital, Wales, United Kingdom
JAMA Cardiol. 2020;5(12):1325-1326. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.4405

I stepped out of the car into the rain. The hospital looked grand, state of the art, impressive. A far cry from my own district general hospital 3 hours away. I walked into the building and followed signs for the intensive care department. As I walked into the immaculate unit, I saw a family gathered around a patient’s bedside.

The patient was a 65-year-old man, requiring intubation and ventilation after cardiac arrest. His history sheet described sudden-onset chest pain followed by collapse and bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation with a 20-minute downtime. The ambulance crew had arrived and identified a shockable rhythm; return of spontaneous circulation was achieved after delivery of 2 shocks. There were no electrocardiogram changes necessitating an immediate trip to the catheterization laboratory, so he was taken to intensive care. It was a story I knew well, but this time, it was my uncle.

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