Nora Walsh was a young nurse who lived in a two-story house with her parents, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She had two jobs - a full-time job in the Emergency Department and a part-time job as a nursing tutor.
One day, after wrapping up a tutoring session, she went straight to the Emergency Department to do a night shift.
In the early morning hours of her shift, a patient - Parviz Elagin - was brought in by his husband.
Parviz’s skin was covered in hives, his face was swollen, and he was having difficulty breathing.
Dr. Arturo Reyes screamed from the other side of the room: “He’s got severe anaphylaxis!
Let’s grab the crash cart - we need the Endotracheal tube, epi, and IV fluids!
Nora, I need your help on this!”
Nora left her coffee and rushed over to get the crash cart.
A few seconds later, she was at the bedside quickly opening up the drawers to get access to everything and rubbing her hands together with hand sanitizer.
“Here you go doc,” Nora said as she passed the endotracheal tube to Dr. Reyes.
“Nora… I need you to…” Dr. Reyes was trying to tell her something while he was struggling with the intubation.
It was clear - the patient’s larynx was too narrow for this size of the tube.
After several failed attempts, Dr. Reyes pulled out the tube and said, “Nora, I need you to get me another tube - We need a smaller diameter. ” Nora rushed.
A few minutes later, the intubation was complete and everyone in the room took a collective deep breath.
But Parviz was still critically ill and his blood pressure was starting to drift down - a worrisome sign of shock.
“Give him 2 milliliters of epinephrine,” Dr. Reyes ordered.
Nora looked at Dr. Reyes in a strange way, like something was clearly wrong, and asked: “Are you sure, Dr. Reyes?”