Sunday, June 8, 2008

A nice story, but...

So OK... this is a real sweet story. Dying woman's wish fulfilled; lovers united for all time, etc, etc...
All well and good, except for these 2 phrases, which made my poor little ICU nurse brain spin, and elevated my blood pressure to "Patent over Pending" levels...

1. "in the ICU" and
2. "her doctors say she has only a few days to live"

WHAT THE BLOODY FLIPPING HELL IS A TERMINAL CANCER PATIENT DOING IN AN ICU??????????????????????????

Now, before anyone has a stroke...

I know my co-workers will understand... the patient is not intubated; she is able to sip sparkling juice, and kiss her hubby... she is using a venti mask.

For my non-medical friends, let me explain... ICU's, by definition, are for those who have some hope of surviving. They are NOT for people who are not expected to live more than "a few days". Putting such a patient in an ICU is a total and complete waste of valuable resources ~ bed space, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc.

Don't get me wrong ~ I believe she should receive the best care possible; but an ICU is not the appropriate setting for it!!!

OK ~ I'm going to go inhale some puppy breath now, and try to calm down...

3 comments:

Anne-Jeanette said...

Thank you for explaining but why marry if you´re have to spend your honeymoon in an ICU???

kram

bobbie said...

People do funny things for love!!!

GB, RN said...

Venti mask? No code? Terminal? Yeah, she belongs elsewhere. The only reasons I can think as to why she is still in "the Unit", is that the family is comfy there, her end is coming quickly, and there isn't a dire need for that ICU bed.

It happens periodically at my hospital as well. And we're level one trauma blah, blah, blah.


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