Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Blood Draw Fiasco

So, here's what happened during G's blood draw yesterday. He has been on tobra, and so the clinic wants to monitor his levels very closely. (Although, they d/c-ed the tobra yesterday, so this was a big totally unnecessary mess!). He is supposed to have levels taken 2 hours post infusion, and then 6 hours post infusion. The options given to him by the home health folks were 1) have the draw in a work conference room or 2) go to a lab place to have it done. There is no way G would go with the first option, so he went to the lab.

He gets there and the people work there have NO IDEA how to draw blood from a port. One of the great things about having a port is that he doesn't have to get poked a bunch of times. So, the nurse calls in the more senior nurse to have her do it, and she says, "yeah, I can do it, let me get a needle." You don't need a needle to draw the blood. Apparently she comes back with a 2 inch needle, so G shows her how to access the line with a needleless syringe. Then, he realizes that she isn't going to "waste" any blood....which you need to do to clear out the he shows here that.

So, she finishes getting the blood, removes the syringe from the port line and says "Okay, all done." She didn't flush the line--which you have to do to keep it from clotting. So, G reminds her of that and she says "what?" He explains it to her again and she says that they don't have any saline to flush it with. G started to panic a bit and ran to his car to see if he had one there. No luck. So the nurse runs next door and comes back with something she thinks with work--apparently because it has saline in it. It was eye wash of some sort. G told her that she could NOT put that in his port and promptly got out of there!

He sped back to the office and flushed his line. When he went back for the second draw he didn't let them touch his port at all--he took the needle instead!

I seriously cannot believe that the home health people sent him to a place that has no idea what they are doing! Dealing with these health care people really keeps you on your toes!


Amy said...

OMG that is insane!!!!!!!!!!! It's totally scary.

Will said...

Insane, but not unusual. I stopped mentioning I had a port soon after I had one for that reason -- drawing blood with the port, even if done right, was a "procedure" and just drawing blood through a butterfly needle on my hand is easy, easy. At least they didn't try to access it with a coring-type needle. I've had people try that one before . . . "hey, wait a second, can I look at that?"