Her bones are clearly visible through her yellow tinted skin. She has a cannula in each arm both have tissued, her veins having shut down hours before. Her last set of observations tell me her systolic blood pressure was sixty-seven, barely compatible with life. She has been on the liverpool care pathway for two days. She is Dying.
Despite all this my patient was incredibly lucid. She was aware of what was going on around her and could answer all of our questions appropriately. This is why, when I was asked to take a set of observations on her I refused. She is on the pathway for the dying with twenty-four hours left on it all of her previous vital observations and physical observations suggest it will be much sooner than that. I refuse to tug a blood pressure cuff onto her arm, inflate it to a painful level and drag it off again when the results will be of no use to anyone. I still cant believe the nurse asked me to do that to my patient.