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Jun 22, 2021 2:18 PM
there's a Sith loose in the hospital
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Marian Daly's morning WAS going well. For about five minutes.

Then there was some confusion about a possible admit, and Alice yoinked her to stay in the trauma unit instead of floating up to the sixth-floor cardiac ICU. And she didn't even have a chance to check who the trauma surgeon on duty is and where they rate on the assholery scale before agreeing. And YET AGAIN she has Leg Lifts Lady. 

And then now, on top of everything else, Alice is too busy to prep the room for their admit because she's, instead, over in the other pod troubleshooting a dialysis machine. 

Marian sighs and calls the ED to ask if they have any other information on this supposed admit, or at least a time estimate. 

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They don't! The patient is right now being medevac-helicoptered over from where they were found, in a cave somewhere in the desert. They're waiting on a radio report from the paramedics. The helicopter should be landing in twenty minutes, though - can the ICU send someone down to help out with that? 

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Marian grumbles VERY LOUDLY in her head but not on the phone. "Sure, we'll send someone over." 

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Meanwhile:

Two search-and-rescue paramedics are in the back of a helicopter, currently soaring over the Nevada desert outside Reno. 

"Still unresponsive?" Bill calls back to his partner Evie. 

     "Yep. Pulse still at 40. I got the IV though. Should I radio in a report -" 

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Their patient goes even more still than she has been, the thus-far-steady rise and fall of her chest settling out into nothing.

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"...Oh, that's just rude!"

Evie drops the radio she was about to make the report with, and does the first thing she can think of, which is to rub her knuckles hard along the patient's sternum, in hopes of waking her up just enough that she will START BREATHING AGAIN. 

Bill leans in to check the monitor display - are the patient's heart rhythm and O2 sat reading any different? 

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Her heart rhythm is still 40, strong and steady, and her O2 reading is 99.

She doesn't respond.

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"...Okaaaay I'm definitely thinking something neurological," Bill mutters, cycling the blood pressure cuff again before reaching for the ambu bag. "That's...fifteen seconds?" 

     "Could just be intermittent airway obstruction," Evie points out. 

Bill scowls. "Can't reposition her neck." The patient is currently immobilized on a backboard, since they're lacking any information on what happened to her and possible injuries. "I do not want to intubate her with that limitation. Get an oral airway placed and bag her?" 

     "On it." The item in question is a hollow, curved plastic tube, which Evie carefully slides in between the patient's teeth, initially with the curve pointing up and then flipping it so the end of the tube rests at the back of the patient's throat, where it should theoretically keep her tongue from blocking her airway. She watches closely for any sign of a cough or gag reflex. 

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Nope.

 

98.

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"- Wow, she's really out. No cough or gag, zero, zip. Amazed her vitals were this stable so far." Evie waits another five seconds to see if the patient will take a breath on her own now, then sighs and presses the resuscitation mask firmly over her nose and mouth, squeezing the bag to force air into the patient's lungs. 

She backs off for a second to see if this stimulates the woman into taking a breath on her own. 

Bill checks the blood pressure reading. 

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It doesn't, no. Her blood pressure is 105 over 52, in the same couple-points worth of range it's been in since they started checking.

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Bill watches in silence for a bit, while Evie goes on squeezing the ambu bag to make their patient breathe. 

"...Well, other vitals are rock-solid but - back off a second - she's still not breathing on her own...?" 

(Evie leaves the oxygen mask in place, but stops squeezing the bag, and watches.) 

Bill scowls. "I guess if she keeps being apneic we ought to intubate her. Whether or not it's obnoxious. It'd be no good if she went and aspirated on us." 

(Evie is still watching for any signs of spontaneous breathing.) 

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A few seconds after Evie stops squeezing, the woman resumes breathing, just as unassumingly as she stopped.

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"....Well." 

They both sit back and watch her, mildly nonplussed.

"I guess we...wait and see? If she stops breathing again we'll tube her then." 

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Evie has time to get most of the way through the radio report before her patient's breathing stops again.

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"Oh for fuck's sake." 

     Evie hastily apologizes to the nurse who's taking her report and toggles off the radio mic with one hand while she reaches for the ambu bag again. "Yo, Bill. It's your turn." 

"I hate you." 

     "Awww. Love you too." 

"Pass the thing." 

     "You could say please. ...Also you could say what." 

"You know what I fucking mean." 

 

Complaints aside, it's hardly the first time either of them has done this. Within five minutes a breathing tube is inserted, held in place with cloth tape, and Bill has the patient hooked up to the transport ventilator. On 25% oxygen, the lowest setting, since it really seems like there's nothing wrong with her lungs

Evie sits back, staring resentfully at the radio. "Guess I should call back and finish. Blerg. - Man, I wonder what that thing is." She jerks her thumb vaguely in the direction of the...large metal object of unknown purpose or origin, found beside their current mystery patient in the cave. 

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The thing in question has no answers for them. (Sure does look like a fancy humanoid robot, though.)

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When their patient tries to start breathing again some thirty seconds later, it's out of sync with the ventilator; it takes a handful of tries for her to match its rhythm.

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The alarm dings loudly. Evie glares at it and whacks the silence button. 

The helicopter starts its descent.

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As they're preparing to touch down, she goes out of sync with the machine again; as before, it takes her a few breaths to resyncronize.

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Evie scowls at the machine and silences it again. 

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Marian has just received a very uniformative secondhand report from the ED nurse who spoke to Evie, and makes her way to the trauma bay just as the transport team is shifting their unresponsive mystery patient from their stretcher onto the ED gurney. 

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Bill goes back and, with help from one of the burlier orderlies, hauls the strange humanoid-robot-thing down the ramp, out onto the landing pad, and inside. 

"What do you reckon - Burning Man art project?" 

     Shrug. "Could be. She'd be getting an early start, though." It's only June. 

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Marian, working on automatic long-engrained habit, switches out the patient's ECG electrodes, blood pressure cuff, and O2 sat probe for the standard hospital ones. And glares at the transport ventilator; she doesn't even recognize that model and she has no idea where to look for the numbers she cares about. 

After a moment, she stops trying, and instead focuses on the patient herself. 

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The woman appears to be in her twenties, tall, lean, and muscular, with short-cropped brown hair and surprisingly pale skin for having been found in the desert in summer with no sign of sunburn. Her outfit is black, plain pants and an oddly-designed long-sleeved shirt, loose and flowy but otherwise also impractical to the climate, hand-embroidered at the cuffs and neckline with a complicated pattern of silver and gold waves, plus an asymetrical belt of sturdier black material supporting a holster containing some sort of short copper rod. Her breathing is slow and steady, and on visual inspection she seems to be in good health, just completely unresponsive and very limp; her heart rate is slow, and her blood pressure is on the low side, but her oxygen reading is fine, 98 rising to 99 as Marian watches.

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Huh. 

Marian checks the woman's pupils with a penlight, then pinches her nailbed hard, checking for any kind of response. 

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