Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Frustration..... but Sams ok!

Sam was discharged from hospital on Friday evening, after having his IV meds at 4pm.  A referral was completed and sent to the Home Care Team so that he could have his Saturday dose at 3pm in the community.   The drug he was on (amykacin) is very strong and has to be closely monitored as to how much is in his blood and the daily timing is crucial.  The referral also stated Sam would be at his Dads place for the weekend.

On Saturday morning I was woken by the Home Care Nurse.... um, anyone that knows me knows that I love sleep.... and having not had a decent unbroken sleep in weeks, I was less than impressed that the nurse hadn't read the referral and woke me up!  That afternoon Francis and I were texting about some school supplies for Jasmine, when I asked him why was he in a shop at 3pm - he should have been home with Sam having his infusion.  It turned out the nurse had shown up and given the drug at 11am!   This was basic nursing not being done - checking the timing of a drug to be given.  And if you aren't familiar with the drug there are protocols easily available to check.

Sunday afternoon I attempt a nap, well aware that Sam was coming home and therefore no break for a couple of weeks...... the nap never happened as Starship called to say that Sams blood trough was very high.  The drug that he had been given should have been in the range less than 1 - his reading was 8!  So after a couple of calls with Starship to try to figure out a way forward, it was decided that Sam was fine at home and someone would call me on Monday. So Sunday nap also gone.

Sunday night I spent 30 mins writing to Sams Paediatrician asking for his advice and to ensure a complaint/Incident form was to be completed.  I could have ignored it, but it irks me that sloppy nursing hurts kids - there needs to be accountability and to see if there are things that can be improved so this doesn't happen again.

Monday morning I had no idea if I would be able to do anything I had planned that day, but by 9am I had taken 3 calls (1 Starship surgeon, 1 Home Care Team, 1 Middlemore Paediatrician) all trying to figure out what to do.  In the end Sam went to school as usual and I collected him at 10:30 and went to Starship.  He had bloods taken and they were sent off to check his kidney function and drug levels.  We hung around, loitered in various friends rooms and play rooms, awaiting the results.  These came in around 2.30 and the level was down to 1.1.  The pharmacist decided the Monday dose could be given, but we were to wait until 4 for that, so the level would have dropped below 1.  We were about to leave at around 4:45, when we were asked to await some other blood results.... At 6pm we got the all clear to leave with his Creatinine (Kidney function), Potassium and drug levels all in an ok range.

The knock on effect of human errors in the medical world is huge.  I understand that humans make mistakes, but sadly the fall out is far greater than some receptionist making a typo.  Thankfully it seems that Sam wasn't physically harmed this time.  He did however miss most of a day of school, which he can ill afford to miss.  Last week he made school only for 1.5 days - it is disappointing when he misses them needlessly.  No hospital board pays my petrol when one of their staff messes up, my girls are at home fending for themselves when we had plans, my plans for Monday didn't happen.  Comments that staff make in the hospital intrigue me, as it shows they become blinkered to the human being they are treating.  I left hospital after comments like, 'just pop back later then....', or 'come back tomorrow if you want....'.  I don't want to pop in to hospital, I do have a life and enjoy reading and walking and more things than discussing blood results and I do have two other children that are trying to be kids and they need me.

I'm not sure if this will ever change much..... it's been 7.5 years and many de'ja'vu moments for sure.
People are people wherever you go - some work passionately, some work for a pay cheque, we all go through our day with our own unique set of strengths, weaknesses, joys, lows, distractions and concerns which impact how we function and relate.

Today he left school 45 mins early so he could be at home to have another blood test/trough and then hooked up to his IV drug by 3pm.  Tomorrow I should get a call with the level, to see if he can have his second last dose.

Tonight I am thankful that Sam is asleep happily after a big giggling fit that nearly made him vomit! . I had to lean over his bed to get the controls (it's a hospital bed) and he thought it was hilarious when he put his legs on me and I feigned that I was pinned under him.  After 10 mins of 'again, again... reach for the controls again' he gave up and asked for a vomit pot.  It is so lovely just enjoying the moments of that unbridled giggling (not so cool re the vomit) - just normal kid stuff!

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