Rapid Sequence Intubation

Updated: Apr 9

The lights are too bright. Since when were those lights so bright? You see flashing red and orange lights out the corner of your eye. All you can hear is an ear piercing alarms. You are sat upright in your bed. You are trying to hunch over, arms forward, like a tripod. The fear is overwhelming. You can't catch your breath. You cannot get the air into your lungs quick enough. You feel this impending sense of doom. You think, this is it.

There is someone rubbing your back. You bat them away. It's too hot. When did it get so hot? You try to pull the mask giving you extra oxygen off your face. Someone stops you and places it back on. You see it's the nurse. A mask covers their face. All you can see is their eyes. You can see they are scared, despite them telling you, it's okay, the doctors on their way.

You wince at the screech as the curtains are opened. More masked faces walk in. You eyes follow the trolley of equipment that joins them. One of them moves to your eye level. They introduce themselves as the intensive care consultant. They explain the Corona Virus has made you very sick. So sick you need to be put to sleep. So sick they need to put a tube down your throat. So sick they need to attach you to a ventilator. So sick they need to help you breath. You can't catch our breath to say anything so you nod your head. The consultant explains you will be very safe, they will look after you.

The nurse moves to your side. They say they can call your family, so you can speak to them quickly. You shake your head. You don't want them to worry. The nurse asks again, more sternly. You understand. You may not get to speak to them again. You hand the nurse your mobile. You are too weak to dial the number yourself. No words come out, only sobs and the occasional, I love you.

Your nurse holds your hand as they lower the head of the bed. You feel what breath you have left leaving you. You thought you couldn't breathe before. Now you definitely can't. They remove the oxygen mask, you try to grab it back. The consultant says its okay as they place another mask over your face. This one has a green bag attached. As the consultant squeezes it, you feel air pushed into your lungs.

You hear everyone introducing themselves. Since when were there so many people in the room? They are discussing how they are going to put the tube down your throat. A sense of dread fills the pit of your stomach. "We are going to put you to sleep now," says the consultant, "we'll give you the medication to do this through the line in your vein." You put all your effort into taking a last deep breath. You feel the medication enter you blood stream. You feel a tingling sensation all over. Your eyes start to feel heavy. You try to fight it, but you can't. You picture your family as you fall asleep.

The consultant tips your head back and opens your mouth. With a silver blade they guide a plastic tube down your throat and into your lungs. Oxygen is manually pushed into your lungs via the tube. The tube is secured with ties around your mouth and head. The nurse then attaches you to the ventilator. Then, it breaths for you.

Below I have included a video from the BBC highlighting what we are currently facing in intensive care units across the UK. Please have a look.

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