Michael Blomquist

Michael Blomquist, RN

The University of Kansas Hospital
Kansas City, Kansas
United States
Michael is a profound leader throughout the hospital; he is looked up to by both nurses and physicians. Michael is also a hero.

...It was a typical morning on the unit; expecting our BMT transplant admissions for the day. A patient arrived on the unit to be admitted for a bone marrow transplant and was assisted to her room along with her husband and pregnant daughter. The RN got the patient settled and oriented to the room. The patient became unresponsive as the RN went to draw blood. What we thought was just a rapid response turned into a code very quickly. Michael was part of an extraordinary team of ICU nurses who ran the code. After intubating, administering several doses of epi and atropine, relentless teamwork doing compressions, the code was called after 30 minutes. The husband and daughter, who had sat outside the room distraught and scared during the code, were soon finding out that a mother of five and soon-to-be grandma was no longer a part of their lives. Dr. G gave the news to the family and they began calling family to relay news that mom had died. The teams assisting with the code started cleaning up the room and the MDs assisting with the code were walking out of the room to resume rounds. Michael's determination that this was not all we could do for the patient became a heroic and extraordinary story that I will never forget. Michael assessed her femoral pulse one last time and things changed very quickly after that. Michael felt a faint pulse and insisted the MDs come back to reassess the situation. Michael insisted he would NOT move his fingers from her femoral until an MD returned to reassess. The code started again once they did. Another dose of epi was given and she soon had a detectable pulse and blood pressure. The patient was in the works for an ICU transfer. Dr. G relayed the news to the family and they began to cry happy tears that mom was back. The patient went to the ICU and within 24 hours she was following commands. She was transferred back to our unit after several days in the ICU. Although able to interact with her family, she was not given a good prognosis. The patient was unable to be transplanted and decided to go home with hospice as the progression of leukemia continued to take over her bone marrow. Although the patient went home with hospice, she was given a gift that her family will forever cherish in their hearts. She was able to say goodbye to her family. If it wasn't for Michael's persistence and determination, this patient would not have the opportunity to have those moments with each of her children, husband, family and friends. The teamwork and diligence between pharmacy, respiratory, MDs and RNs was honorable and extraordinary. Michael's leadership, direction and communication kept the team together and determined to do the best we could for the patient. Michael is a profound leader throughout the hospital; he is looked up to by both nurses and physicians. Michael is also a hero. I will never be able to thank him for taking one of our precious cancer patients under his wing and seeing that there was more we could do. ... Yesterday, I was involved in the care of a terminally ill man who had decided he was ready to stop aggressive interventions. He told us he was ready to die. While we spoke about options for care moving forward, his wife began to feel dizzy. Michael came to assess her and a rapid response was initiated. Michael expertly went about starting an IV and providing care. Within 15 minutes she felt much better and her vital signs were stable. Michael's exceptional clinical skills coupled with his recognition of what was happening with this unique family situation led to an insightful intervention that allowed a wife to remain with her husband - a husband who was imminently dying. The suffering of the patient would have been greatly increased had his wife needed to leave the room to be assessed and treated. The patient was converted to comfort care, removed from Bipap per his request and died within twelve hours of these events. Sometimes you only get one chance to do the right thing for a patient and their family. Not only did Michael do the right thing, but the caring and quiet professionalism he displayed during this entire interaction made me very proud to call him my nurse colleague. ... Michael Blomquist is the first recipient of the National Patient Safety Foundation's DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses!