Let me tell you how the past week has been:
When I heard the explanation in class:
When I couldn’t answer the questions in class the next day:
When I still didn’t get it five days later:
When I started to get it:
When I realized how freaking cool the body is:
When I’m in class now:
Biggest nerd moment of the past week: We’ve all heard and watched it. A patient is dying on the table and flatlines. The doctor reaches for the paddles…”CLEAR!!” 5 seconds later… “Normal rhythm!” The patient’s saved!
Oh how wrong that is. Shocking a patient isn’t like jumpstarting a car. The point of shocking a patient is to actually induce a “flatline.” The heart is going “I’m trying, I’m trying!” but isn’t really beating at all. It’s just wiggling like a useless bag of worms (is there a such thing as a useful bag of worms? I guess if you were going fishing…). So shocking a patient stops the wiggles.
This allows the heart to “restart” and and try beat normally again instead of wiggling. So shocking a patient who is already flatlined defeats the purpose.
My mind-blown-ness was even more than that because I learned what “v-tach,” “v-fib,” and “asystole” meant on a super-nerdy level. It’s always fun to learn the real meaning of words that you’re familiar with. It’s like when I learned what “inflammation” was on a molecular level. Colloquially, it just means “it gets big and it gets red.” But why? Because the body’s soldiers, the white blood cells, are freaking out and going “SOMETHING’S WRONG SOMETHING WRONG. MUST. GO!!” And so they all rush to the site of injury/infection, and that on top of a few other reactions is why it gets “big and red.”