Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Behind Hospital Doors by Dr. Richard A. Berjian

Mainstream, 414 pages, ebook & print
Cover art by Richard Stroud
Purchase link for Behind Hospital Doors
Surgeon Parker Dawson finds his many years of medical training have not prepared him for the real world of practice he encounters in Palm Beach County, Florida when he operates on a drug courier on his first day of surgery. His budding surgical career is threatened when a political hospital dispute charges him with medical misconduct, forcing him to fight to save his career. His personal life is shaken when he meets up with a past love, nursing supervisor, Judy Keller. Struggling to stave off the consequences of all these challenges he learns about true love, loyalty and the price one pays to defend one's integrity.

Rudy's brow wrinkled as he squeezed hard on the oxygen bag. "Damn it, Parker. I need blood. She has no pressure."

"Forget the blood," Parker answered, cursing under his breath. "There's no time to scrub. I'll open the chest and cross clamp the aorta. That'll stop the bleeding into her belly."

He donned sterile gloves over unwashed hands as the scrub nurse pushed the instrument table toward him. Making an incision into the left chest of the unconscious woman, he followed the edge of the fifth rib, widening the opening with a rib spreader. He inserted his gloved hand into the cavity, grasped the heart and forcefully pumped it.

"She's in V fib," Rudy yelled out.

Parker's eyes darted to the jagged, uncoordinated lines running across the monitor screen. "Keep pushing the fluid, Rudy, I'll shock her." He grabbed the paddles the nurse handed him and positioned them around the heart. "Set for three hundred Joules and everyone step back," he called out.

The charge jolted Olga's torso but the monitor showed no response.

"Raise to four hundred," he ordered. Another jolt surged through the body but this time the monitor showed a flat line.

"Adrenaline!" he shouted. He reached for the filled syringe and injected it into the heart. Still no response of life appeared on the monitor.

With eyes glued to the screen, he continued compressing the heart. "Atropine," he called out with panic in his voice.

"Caramba, her pupils are fixed!" Rudy bellowed. "She's flat lined. Call the code, Parker! She's finito, brain dead."

Parker pumped the heart more vigorously. "Don't die, you can't die on me!" he commanded. Beads of perspiration formed on his brow. and the circulating nurse gently patted it dry.

The room became still except for the hissing sound of suction.

"Call the code, Parker," Rudy pleaded. "There's nothing more we can do."

The circulating nurse tapped Parker's shoulder. "She's gone, Doctor."

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