Friday, February 25, 2005

It's Not a Good Day when Your Afternoon Makes the AP.....
Which is what happened to me on Wednesday. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:Columbus man kills his two children, then kills himself:
COLUMBUS — A father fatally stabbed his two young children, wounded three other children and then killed himself by slitting his throat after a domestic dispute Wednesday in a neighborhood of south Columbus, police said.

Clarence Lacey Moore used a hunting knife to kill 1-year-old Clarence Smith Moore, who died on the floor beside his bed from a laceration to the throat, Muscogee County Coroner James Dunnavant told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

Stephan Smith Moore, 2, died in the emergency room at The Medical Center about two hours later from stab wounds to his head, neck and back, Dunnavant said.

Moore, 24, died in surgery shortly afterward.

The other three children underwent surgery at The Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Marion Scott. Shawn Smith, 3, and Shelton Smith, 5, remained in critical condition Thursday morning, hospital spokesman Kory Lundberg said. Shelby Smith, 7, was upgraded to satisfactory condition, Lundberg said.

Beverly Moore, the mother of all the children, was not injured, Columbus police Maj. Russell Traino said.

Witnesses told police that the woman, followed by the 5-year-old with blood on her, ran screaming from a home on Benning Road, then collapsed.

"She wanted to know where her babies were at," Teresa Williams, a resident of the Baker Village housing project who helped the woman, told the newspaper.

Wednesday night, the white cinderblock house in south Columbus was quiet.

Two doors away, the words "God is Love" were featured on the billboard of the South Columbus United Methodist Church.

Nathaniel Carter, a security guard in the church parking lot, said that earlier in the day, the house was surrounded by crime scene tape and hordes of news media and police.

The pastor, the Rev. Joseph Roberson, told the newspaper that he was inside the church when the incident happened. He said he went with Beverly Moore to the hospital, and spent about four hours with her.

"She was asking, 'How could this happen?'" Roberson said. "What has me crying and hurting is those children they cannot have their lives returned."

Neighbors said the family moved to Columbus from Michigan and had lived in the house since January.

This won't be the usual "Tales From the Trauma Service" with detailed descriptions of injuries, radiographs or pictures. Given that the names of the patients are out there I think that would be crossing the line as far as confidentiality goes. If more details are put forth, I will fill in the blanks.
I was helping out a gynecologist friend of mine answer the age old question: Is it appendicitis or PID? I won, he lost. As I helped him free up the TOA the ED called up with a "trauma alert". Several children in cardiac arrest. Bidding farewell I went down to the ED. Four children with penetrating injury, unknown number in full arrest.
First child arrives, followed shortly by another. The first had an obvious evisceration but was awake and otherwise stable. I left the ED physician and nurses to start lines and draw blood.
The second child arrived, in full arrest. My partner and I assist with this until two more children arrive. An intraosseus needle is placed and my partner performs a cutdown. The child arrives in aystole and remained that way despite multiple rounds of ACLS drugs. Once it becomes clear that this child has nothing surgically correctable my partner takes child #1 to the OR. Shortly thereafter we call the code on this child.
Third child arrives. Unresponsive but with a good femoral pulse. Secure the airway. Multiple superficial lacerations but some deeper punctures to the thorax and abdomen. I start a femoral line giving fluid and blood. Get a CXR and this child goes to the OR with my other partner.
Fourth child arrives shortly thereafter the third. Responds only to pain. Stab wound to the left parasternal area. Intubated and peripheral lines started. Tremendous amount of bloody drainage in NGT. Left chest tube inserted.
Just after the first child goes to the OR, the father arrives, having slit his own throat. Was in PEA enroute but became asysolic shortly before arrival. Looks like he cut both the carotid and jugular veins on that side. Pupils were fixed and dilated. After he gets worked on awhile with no results he is pronounced. At this time I take the last child to the OR with a thoracic surgeon for exploration.
Time from arrival of the first patient to last to the OR, about 45 minutes.
Before I went to the OR I stopped and spoke to the mother. I told her that three of her children were in the operating room, and one had died. Someone behind me told me that one child had died at the scene. She became inconsolable.
It was truly like a bad episode of "ER" with shouting and lots of people working furiously to save these children's lives. Paramedics carrying limp bodies of bloodied children into the trauma bay. Then going outside to cry, vomit, or both. Nurses and house staff running these patients to the OR, then themselves breaking through the brittle shell holding their emotions in check.
As for myself, I could not comprehend what could drive someone to do this. How sick or evil this person was to do this to innocent and helpless children. What psychological price will these little ones pay for the rest of their lives?
As I was rounding one them today one told me, "I was bad."
"No ____, you have been very good throughout all this. And you will get better"
So far, my brittle shell is only cracked.
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