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Thread: Need suggestions on dealing with hospital staff

  1. #1

    Need suggestions on dealing with hospital staff

    My son is hospitalized for functional obstructed bowel and a UTI. The UTI seems to be a never ending story, he's got a super pubic since last July.

    He is at a teaching hospital where most of his docs are on staff.

    While there I noticed a stain on the sheet on his belly and saw urine was leaking from the super pubic site. I called for staff and asked if it had been changed to a different size, etc., they said no, just the dressing was changed, and they would ask the nurse.

    While waiting I found what happened, they had folded the tubing in half, stuck it into the leg clamp leaving his urine no way to escape other than to backup and out the incision.

    I called the two techs in and told them nothing like this can ever happen again.

    They fell over themselves apologizing, but I'm wondering if I should talk to someone else. Should I call his doctor, the nurse?

    What kind of damage could something like this do? Should I not worry unless he develops more/worse symptoms?


    Boy do I feel like throat stomping these guys right now.

  2. #2
    Yes you should report this to the charge nurse and supervisor asap. Also mention it to his physician at the first opportunity. And yes this could cause damage. A distended bladder can cause or aggravate a UTI.

    Sadly, you are experiencing what many of us are in our broken health care system. At this point my family and friends all make arrangements to have someone stay 24/7 with one who becomes hospitalized. Document the events as they occur and report them promptly making notes of your actions. You may end up having to sue the facility if they do serious damage. I am truly sorry that you have to go through this. Your son needs a strong advocate. And by all means watch his skin. Pressure sore are often an outcome of situations like this.
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  3. #3
    There should be an office of patient relations too and a risk manager. I would also speak to the director of the hospital.

    Worst case they could have killed your son. They could have damaged his kidneys, etc. I would speak to a lawyer. One specializing in medical malpractice. I let a doctor and staff off on a mistake like this and have suffered from it for 30 years.

  4. #4
    Re: " He is at a teaching hospital where most of his docs are on staff."

    At teaching hospitals. most of the doctors paged to see patients are Resident Physicians or "House-Staff". They range from 1-4 years post-medical school graduation and typically make rounds once a day with their attending doctor who's ultimately responsible for your son's care.

    Your son's incident needs to be documented in the Electronic Medical Records ( EMR ) by nursing and M.D.'s. Should you ever have to refer to this event in the future, remember, if it's not documented in the medical records, it didn't happen. It is unlikely that a medical technician is going to enter documentation in the EMR.

    Every hospital has a Patient Advocate. Have them called to the bedside. It may not happen until Monday but that's the person you want to talk to. They will also document your concerns in their records, which may or may not be included in the EMR. The Patient Advocate will start calling people on your son's behalf.

    I'm sorry this happened to your son.
    Last edited by 2drwhofans; 02-21-2015 at 10:51 PM. Reason: I was projecting events that happened to my husband during hospitalization and initially wrote "husband" instead of "son".

  5. #5
    As everyone has said yes it needs to be documented asap talk to the charge nurse on the floor this is typically a nurse that has more expierence on that floor. But i would also speak with the nurse manager on monday. And also definately talk to the doc and the patient advocate dept on monday as well.
    T6 Incomplete due to a Spinal cord infarction July 2009

  6. #6
    I'm so sorry to hear about this. I agree with the others. You should report it to the nurse and to the doctors. If his urologist is there, I would let him know as well as the doctors taking care of him now. Since it is the weekend, the senior doctors/attending probably wont be back until tomorrow, so tell them again tomorrow. The nurses will likely pass it along from nurse to nurse so hopefully it wont happen again. Often the nursing assistants vary even more from day to day, so someone will need to be vigilant about watching them/teaching them what to do. Perhaps in the future, no one but the nurse should touch the SP... and family should manage it as much as possible.

    We have also learned the hard way that we can't leave my father alone in the hospital. It is just so exhausting... waiting for the next medication error, contamination etc... We try to have him/family manage his SCI related issues as much as possible to avoid contamination. Remember, most of them do not have experience with SCI and just don't understand.

    There is a fine line you have to ride.... of being vigilant and protecting your loved one, but not alienating the doctors/nurses/CNAs who are there to help. I haven't figured it out yet...

  7. #7
    I would also be concerned that he's able to get the same medications even though he may have a nasogastric tube in for the bowel obstruction. I had horrendous withdrawal symptoms and almost seizure like attacks from 48 hours cold turkey withdrawal of baclofen and tizanidine for spasticity. There is no IV equivalent. They then resorted to crushing it up, mixing it with water, shooting it down the NG tube, and clamping the NG tube for about a half-hour to allow some sort of passage through the stomach and the absorbed lower down. Better than nothing, but very dangerous nonetheless.

    Make sure they have autonomic hyperreflexia guidelines on hand, as well as the appropriate meds, such as nifedipine, immediately available at the nursing station should a crisis arise. It will be too late to call the physician and order down for the medication when it is needed. That could take two hours. The result could be a stroke.

  8. #8
    I hate being in hospitals.

    In my experiences, there are many really caring and talented doctors and nurses. I got some of the most useful advice I've had from a nurse at my last hospital stay, and sometimes they would spend a lot of extra time helping. Sometimes the doctors really seemed to care and work hard for me.

    The problem with the hospitals I've been in is that they aren't all like that. A good portion of the staff just doesn't care about people with SCI, they don't want the hassle. They want to deal with "ordinary" patients - I guess, those who bring in the money and don't need that much care.

    One time I was in a hospital I literally left early as I couldn't stand the way I was being treated. I had one nurse who started screaming and praying when she couldn't manage a transfer; others who couldn't work things like bed heights. The whole experience was like being in a madhouse. A lot of hospitals seem to be more like nursing homes or homeless shelters, providing a place to stay for fairly healthy (if a bit unstable) people; or else for people in a kind of semi-vegetative state. These folks are just a lot easier on the staff, I hypothesize: actually sick people who might convalesce need more attention, and that probably builds resentment among some of the staff. I don't really know, just guessing.

    So, I don't know what to say. You have my sympathy. I just don't think many staff in hospitals care that much. They're probably happiest if their patients die or lapse into a coma, as long as they stop demanding hygienic procedures and help with transfers.

    My guess is, in theory, to make an impact, if you had some connection with someone powerful in the hospital bureaucracy, that might help. Or if you can get to a good hospital, one that knows a lot about SCI.

    I don't know if this applies, but I found getting an iPad in the hospital was one of the few things that kept me almost sane. i could pass some of the time, sometimes.
    Last edited by xsfxsf; 02-22-2015 at 05:35 PM.

  9. #9
    It definitely should be reported to his physician, the charge nurse, the nurse manager, the Director or Nursing and I would go as far as the Nurse Executive and CEO of the hospital. The squeeky wheel gets the grease.

    While I am sure that we have all had nightmare experiences in hospitals (myself included), I have found that if you try to work with the staff, most are receptive. It is highly likely that many of the staff have never worked with a person who has a spinal cord injury. They need education in a kind and firm way. If they do not reposnd positively to this, it should be reported. Yes, you do walk a fine line, but I can assure you that as someone who has been in Nursing Administration, I do not want to hear that my staff has not been a patient advocate and supportive. You will probably never know how it was handled, but know that most people do handle it.

    It is helpful to have someone there as much as possible for a variety of reasons. Your son may not always understand or hear what the staff are asking or saying to him, you can assist with care and lastly, you can be the educator and advocate. I recommend this to all people, not just those with a spinal cord injury. Being in a hospital is stressful. Period.

    If at all possible, it is always best to find a hospital that has experience with the issues that the patient has. This is not always possible, so try to make the best of the experience and who knows, maybe some good will come from it.

    CKF

  10. #10
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    One problem some people (like me) have beset if you're getting caregivers through programs paid for by the government, said programs will not pay caregivers while the patient is in the hospital. That not only makes said caregivers unhappy, it also creates a problem if the patient doesn't have family members or anyone else who can stay with them.
    Alan

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