Intensive Care

9 May

Due to a series of nursing errors and good old-fashioned incompitance I am now back in the intensive care unit for the first time since last August.

Last Wednesday, a nursing attendant failed to secure my catheter tube with a thigh strap. The purpose of the strap is to ensure slack on the catheter at all times. This is necessary because the end of the catheter has a small inflatable balloon to ensure it doesn’t slip out of the bladder. Some time around noon, too much tension was applied to my catheter, with the result that the balloon pulled out of the bladder and into the urethra causing tearing and bleeding…. And preventing draining of my bladder. This in turn caused an autonomic dysreflexia: soaring blood pressure and headache. If you solve the problem causing the dysreflexia blood pressure returns to normal in minutes. Treating the symptoms is ineffective and possibly harmful.

In a misguided attempt to lower my blood pressure a nurse gave me a shot of nitroglycerin and when my bladder finally got drained hours later my blood pressure naturally dropped, but then kept plunging due to the nitroglycerin. I ended up losing consciousness and the emergency rescue team had to be called. I was then hurried to the intensive care unit. As a result of the many different different sized catheters that were tried on me to get flow going I contracted septic shock: an infection that got in the blood stream. I got so ill I wasn’t able to eat anything for 3 days.

Today I feel like I’m on the mend, and should be out of ICU in the next few days.

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