ICU Day 17 -Another line in the arm

An ultrasound showed that the IV central line on the side her neck through which she was getting all IV medications and transfusions had a blood clot. Today they removed that central line and put a PICC line in her right arm. She used to have a PICC line in the left arm, which was removed in July. They usually do this procedure, to put in a PICC line, at bedside but she was bloated with the extra fluids and so it was difficult to find the vein easily. They took her to Interventional Radiology who can to do such procedures using guided equipment.

The doctors have changed her sedatives to wake her up a little as a ventilator settings are not that high to cause her discomfort. So she is not fully asleep and wakes up for about 10 seconds every 1-2 minutes, opens her eyes, stares into nowhere, pulls on her tied hands, and moves her head. She looks a little more tired compared to two days when she was fully sedated and basically slept through the day and night.

The previous sedatives induced a deeper sleep but also caused delirium and I can see that when the wakes up – she is not aware of where she is and is mentally not awake. This new sedative keeps her semi-sedated and does not add to the mentally confused state. But the old sedative will take some time to ware-off.

Fever is under control but not completely off. When it starts climbing the nurse gives her tylenol around 100.5 and it usually touches 101 before it starts going down. This usually happens 1-2 times a day. So it’s definitely under control but we need to keep watching it through the day.

Nursing is a tough job. Sometimes it looks easy but it can be stressful given what is at stake and the responsibility they carry. The nurse yesterday was one of the best ones we had but she was the one who accidently dislodged the tubes. When things settled a bit, she repeatedly apologized and was genuinely sorry. I can only imagine what goes through their minds when they make a mistake and things get out of hands. I would not be able to sleep at night if I had that kind of responsibility and caused an accident.