Oh the famous last words!!
Several times a year we get teenagers in the PICU for an accidental overdose...or purposeful overdose gone all wrong. This week, the alcohol was WAY overdone for one 17 year old.
Apparently he and some "friends" were having a great night out...including a ton of drinking. They decided that it would be loads of fun to take a walk, but weren't quite coordinated to do so. PICU patient had WAY too much to drink and passed out.
Yup, just passed out, right in the middle of the street when they were trying to cross.
Well, at least his friends were "friend" enough to drag him to the sidewalk. But that's pretty much where their friendship ended! They saw an older man walking by and stopped him saying:
"This is our friend 'PICU PATIENT'- he just passed out"...
AND THEN THEY RAN AWAY!!!!
Luckily, this older man was not some psycho...or murderer...or rapist. He called 911 and the kid was brought to us.
However, the kid was brought to the ER, only knowing a first name and that he "passed out." After a ton of tests were run to figure out the cause of his passing out, it was ruled he was severly intoxicated!! So, he bought himself a stay in the PICU to sober up.
We had him connected to monitors and gave him loads of IV fluid. As he started waking up, we were then able to ask questions. Like, what is your last name? Do you have family that we can call??
His mom came in several hours into the day. Apparently she wasn't too worried that he didn't come home that night. Apparently this behavior is not too out of the norm for him. She certainly didn't have any sympathy for him.
The more he woke up, the worse he felt. At one point he started getting agitated saying "My head is killing me. Something is wrong!" His mom said, "Shut up- you just have a nasty hangover!"
Now ordinarily, horrible acute headaches would warrent concern for us PICU nurses....but we'll agree with mom on this one!
Numerous times throughout the day after vomiting and struggling through pounding headaches, the patient swore up and down that he wouldn't drink. Ever again! I believe "I will only drink water for the rest of my life" even came out of his mouth!
For this patient, that's probably a good idea. Scratch that, great idea. With the way he drinks, the amount he drinks, he can't afford to keep up this behavior!! At roughly $3,000-5,000, that was probably the most expensive night of sobering up this patient has ever seen.
Sometimes it's not always about the adventures that we go through as PICU nurses. Sometimes its about the adventures that our patients go through.
I think it's safe to say, this was one adventure this patient did not bargain for. One adventure that he will hopefully remember for the rest of his life. And next time he goes to pick up a bottle, a flask, a jug (whatever teens are drinking out of these days!), he will remember his famous words: "I will only drink water for the rest of my life!"
And if he doesn't stick to it, his next adventure should include finding some new friends. One that won't leave him passed out on the sidewalk!!