Monday, August 4, 2008

What Lies Beneath

Pulling an IV line is only slightly more complicated than it sounds: remove the tegaderm, apply some gauze, pull out the line, and tape the gauze.  No more than 30 seconds, tops.  Every once in a while, the gauze becomes blood-soaked, and simply gets replaced by another 3x3 and taped down again.  That's it.

The other day, a nurse asked me to pull the IV on a pleasant-looking older lady.  I removed the line, taped the gauze, and went back to work.  A minute later, the patient found me at the nurses' station and pointed at the gauze, which had a tiny red spot in the middle.  "It's still bleeding," she informs me.  No problem, I say, and tape down some new gauze.  A few minutes later she comes back and shows me the gauze, this time without any red spots, wanting it changed again.  When I ask her why, she tells me "she doesn't like knowing that there's blood underneath."  I add a third piece of gauze while the patient's nurse stands nearby trying not to laugh.  After the patient leaves, I turn to the nurse and mention that there's plenty of blood underneath the patient's skin.

Fearing an elective skin transplant, we hope she never finds out.

No comments: