where have all the flowers gone?

I have to get this down before I forget it in the blur of additional horrors. My last weekend in celestial paediatric triage we were of course short nurses, so I had two intubated and ventilated patients. Because they have been there a long time they are considered ‘stable’ and therefore safe to double. Ha! Both failed cardiac repairs that will turn on you in a heartbeat. Both in withdrawal, the small one’s tube hanging out at least a centimetres (for those who don’t know, in very small people – infants, the difference between the patient being intubated and extubated can be measured by centimetres – intubated is good – means the ventilator is actually getting breaths to the lungs – unplanned extubated is bad – means the baby is going to have to do it alone, with a big hose halfway through their airway).

Anyway, just one of the concerns of healthcare today. But the bigger one was the child with traction on his heart. Ok, I say on his heart, but it was really on his mechanical support devise that was implanted into his heart, but the results would be the same. Seems the devise (a well known city in Germany) was not quite positioned as it should be and the holes did not line up to provide support as advertised, so since the CV surgeon was unavailable, they mcgyvered a traction of 2 pounds attached to the device pulling it so the holes were inline. Of course 2 pounds of traction on a 4 pound person will slowly drag them down the bed….

Laugh, cry, shudder?

Someone should really write a book…..Dr. Markov, the CV surgeon, a small man who wears too much aftershave and who is rather too touchy with the female nursing staff. No Dr. McSteamy or even McDreamy, he likes to give little encouraging pats, squeezes and touches as he passes and has been known to troll the unit for brain dead children when he has a transplant candidate waiting. Able to have tantrums that will allow his elective surgeries to go ahead despite there being no qualified trained nurses to care for the patient after surgery. A skilled surgeon, no doubt, but the rate of post operative infections is rising and no one quite knows why.

Director Synthia Carlyle, a formidable woman who has been climbing the ladder to the top. Knows the party line, knows the public political expressions to give voice to but when it comes to shove – well make sure your personal malpractice insurance is up to date and increased before entering the doors to work.

Ah well, maybe next week – I really should be doing school work..or at the very least christmas shopping.  Now there is a whole other thing to rant on about.


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