ER
Touch And Go

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Touch And Go

Neela barges into a dark exam room. "Is Dr. Carter in here?" she pants. "My patient's in respiratory failure." There's a shout of "NO" from underneath the covers. Neela leaves, and doesn't see that Abby emerges from beneath the sheet. "Dr. Carter is not in here," she mumbles. That's true on several levels.

Neela is frantic, unable to find Luka or Carter. Pratt strides into Trauma Yellow basking in the afterglow of having mentally masturbated his way through yet another crisis. Neela informs him that Martin's failing to take in oxygen, so Pratt says, "If he's not breathing, bag him!" Neela points out that they're waiting for someone from Anesthesia to come down and take care of the intubation, but Pratt decides that they can't wait any longer, and practically busts a nut in his eagerness to run to Martin's side and be his hero. "What are you doing?" she panics. "He needs oxygen!" Pratt insists. He's going to intubate. But Pratt can't see anything, and Martin's gone stiff, and it's tough to focus. Carter charges in with doctors in tow, and exclaims, "Pratt!" But it's too late: Pratt thinks he's got the intubation done. Then, as he's applying some pressure, Martin's head tilts backward, and a sickening crack cuts through the heavy-handed background music, Hubris in the Key of G. Pratt sucks wind. "Oh, God," he breathes. No one moves. It's like they're afraid to, lest that make this real. "Did he break his neck?" Neela whispers, unmoving, eyes flickering in terror toward Carter. God, she really is becoming a simple mouthpiece for laymen's terms. Carter simply stares, and Pratt lets distress wash over his face, tinged with denial. We fade to black thinking that, although Pratt's been with many, many women in his years, this is the first time he's been well and truly fucked.

Back in Trauma Yellow, Pratt's trying desperately to convince himself and others that everything's going to be okay. "Sats are up," he says. "Still no motor tone in the legs," Carter counters. Pratt points out that intubation meds can do that to a person, to which Carter replies that sux only paralyzes for ten minutes. Gutted, Pratt attempts to claim that he just broke off a bone bridge and nothing more: "Even if his neck's broken, it doesn't mean he's paralyzed." Carter figures Pratt ought to take Martin up to MRI so that they can get a definite answer on that. Pratt turns around and exits with a heavy sigh, stopping at the water fountain to gaze at his navel and wonder why these things don't happen to Malarkey. I feel for him, because Martin was dying and no Attendings could be found, but Pratt knew from the get-go that Martin had a bone condition that made intubation risky, and I wonder if he was as careful as he could've been. Basically, I think Pratt's an arrogant assbag a lot of the time, and I think that showed through in his attempts to downplay what happened, contrasted with Carter's quiet acceptance of the reality of the situation: as the Attending, in the long run Carter's probably almost as accountable for the outcome as Pratt is, yet still he didn't backpedal as Pratt did. But I also feel bad for Pratt, because he was trying to do what he thought was right, and well, that shit just sucks.

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