Critical Care Part 2 (read more)

Twenty-five minutes later, they pulled up to the emergency room at Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital. Marcus was limp, white as a ghost and fairly unresponsive. Roderick Brodhead, MD, Ministry Howard Young Health Care director of emergency services and emergency department physician, treated Marcus at Ministry Eagle River Memorial. He immediately ordered a CT scan of Marcus’ head.

“I was fearful of one of the most serious, critical and dreaded diagnoses in emergency medicine,” Dr. Brodhead remembers. The physician predicted Marcus had an epidural hematoma, which is a type of traumatic brain injury usually associated with a skull fracture in the temperoparietal area of the brain where the temporal and parietal lobes meet.

When the skull is fractured in this area, a large artery that runs through that area can also become fractured. This causes significant bleeding between the skull and the surface of the brain. The CT scan confirmed Dr. Brodhead’s prognosis “There aren’t many things in emergency medicine other than heart attack or stroke that hinge on minutes,” said Dr. Brodhead. “It is an incredibly time-sensitive condition. Once the pressure on the brain has become irreversible, it’s an unsurvivable injury.”

Dr. Brodhead recognized the situation and charged the team to “get the bird in the air.” He was referring to Ministry’s Spirit Air 2, a helicopter air transport to Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital. It was the only chance Marcus had to survive.

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