Briann Logan’s assessment of her patient saved the patient's life. She noted that the patient's neck was swollen and notified the doctor who was busy in ED and said she would review the chart and maybe order a neck CT. Briann trusted her gut and asked the charge nurse to come to look at the patient. They agreed that this patient needed to be seen right away so she called the doctor and got her to come to see the patient who ordered the CT scan. After it was completed, the doctor looked at it and it showed air in the soft tissue in her neck and a bone in her esophagus. The patient was immediately transferred to ICU and the ENT was consulted. He took the patient to the OR at 0300. By 0400, the case was done, the bone was out. She has an abscess and 2 holes in her esophagus. She will remain intubated for a couple of days for the abscess to drain and swelling to go down.
The ENT physician was impressed that this was caught by the bedside nurse, Briann, and wanted her recognized. Had this gone on much longer the patient would have for sure been severely septic and probably lost her airway from the swelling.