This year, a patient in acute respiratory distress was brought to the Emergency Department. The decision was made to consult for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). At this point, there were five ED nurses in the room starting drips and giving blood products, four emergency services assistants running to the Blood Bank gathering supplies and equipment to bring to the room and our entire Charlie pod physician team. Respiratory was ready to manage ECMO if the decision was made.

The team determined that ECMO was the patient’s only chance at survival. We received assistance from our Operating Room colleagues, who ran back and forth for specialized equipment. We continued resuscitation while trying to communicate with the patient’s family over the phone.

What I witnessed was nothing short of a miracle. Watching this team in a small room in Charlie cannulate and start ECMO in the ED was amazing. We often try to put into words what the Brigham Way means. I would say it is teamwork, collaboration and having the best of the best come together to save a life.

Anna Meyer, DNP, RN
Nurse Director, Emergency Department