Saturday, November 14, 2009

Homicidal Family Members

We review all the codes that occur in the medical center to see what happened and do determine how best to improve our responses and to prevent the events that lead to the code. One code this week involved an elderly patient who had a stroke and and as result had severe dysphagia. They had a feeding tube in place and were strickly NPO. The patient suddenly had a respiratory arrest and when the code team went to intubate they had to remove a large portion of fried chicken from the glottis. The family though that since the patient loved fried chicken, that a little bit wouldn't hurt. The second case was in one of the units. The sedation was decreased to allow the patient to start to wake up to begin a weaning trial after bypass and valve surgery. While the patient's family was visiting the nurse went to do her charting outside of the room. Appartently, the family saw the patient was starting to move his arm and decided to undo the restraints. No sooner had they started to release them than the patient reached up and pulled out the ET tube in one swift motion with the cuff up. Luckily the team was able to get the patient re-intubated before laryngeal swelling made it more difficult. The famlily immediately blamed the nurse and the hospital for "poor care" and "letting this happen" and denied that they did anything. We were fortunate that we have each ICU room on CCTV and the whole event was caught on tape. Of course I am sure that the tape is a HIPPA violation but we were able to show the family that it was their fault.


SeaSpray said...

The first incident - well meaning... but stupid.

2nd incident - stupid... but pond scum people... selfish and not caring about the trouble they could've caused for the nurse.

I can not stand when people don't own up to their own mistakes. We all make them .. but then to try to blame some one else..

Why are people so afraid these days to say .."Hey ..I screwed up, I won't do it again. I'm sorry. Can we move forward from this?"

I was raised to take responsibility for my actions .. heck it even used to be in the sitcoms. Now everyone looks to blame someone else for their mistakes and to see how they can take advantage of people or situations.

I guess lawsuits explain some of that. Still wrong tho.

SeaSpray said...

P.S. and maybe I am wrong ..but I feel like even with manners.. more people are rude.

And poor manners is small compared to what you're talking about, but it's the little things that lay a foundation of goodness or slowly erode it with darts of corruption here and there.

And it seems that when people do things that will really hurt someone ..*and don't care*..they are oblivious to the fallout/consequences for the people they hurt.

It's one thing to make mistakes, but be *truly sorry* when you realize it ..and entirely another when you do not care how someone is hurt... as these people did.

And the ripple effect.. goes both ways.

This is random from medical comment, but ties in to the type you are pointing out. Much more awful.. but that poor young girl brutally raped in Richmond and observers did nothing to intervene, get help. Didn't someone have a cell to call 911?

The rape was hideous. But what does that say about those people who did nothing and WATCHED? It's ALARMING and sad...and so wrong.

Maybe it is a desensitization from values and what was held up as right and good in the past by being drummed into all of us. And it was expected. And you had consequences. Now everyone gets a pass.

There should always be forgiveness if the wrongdoer is accountable and sorry.