Jill was a charge nurse for the ED today with a patient load and the unit on diversion. Our mother came in with vomiting, her BP was 81/55, so they brought her back right away and Jill was her bedside nurse. They ran all the usual tests, boluses, x-rays. She came in to do an assessment and as mom moved for her to listen to lung sounds, mom vomited. She recognized that the vomit was GI related and that she might have a bowel obstruction. She initiated a CT scan being ordered.
They found a large mass in mom's colon. The next morning, we found out it was cancer, stage 4. After surgery for a palliative ileostomy, mom had complications and passed away.
If not for Jill, we would not have had any indications that mom was so chronically ill. It was her wisdom that changed the course of her treatment and allowed us to make decisions that made mom's passing as peaceful as it could be. We would like to thank her for her keen judgment and critical thinking in the face of mass chaos.