Monday, August 21, 2006

(Don’t) Care Homes

This is something that Tom Reynolds of Random Acts of Reality has written about before, but I think it is well worth writing about this one experience.

We were given the job as an elderly male with difficulty in breathing and unable to walk. In some ways this was true.

When we arrived, the home was clean and didn’t have the normal smell of stale urine and stale food. They even had nurses on the staff to look after the patients.

He was barely conscious and was breathing at a rate of 40 breaths a minute. (The average adult breathes between 12 and 20 times a minute). So, the first question was how long had he been like this. One of the nurses told us that he had been in this state for over an hour before they decided to get help.

As we had a closer look, the gentleman had a rash all over his body and was so hot to touch that it felt as if I was being burnt. He had a temperature of 41 degrees C. Apparently, the GP who looked after the home had decided that it was just a rash and was treating it with a cream. Great idea if it hadn’t been a septic rash that required antibiotics. More concerning was the fact that none of the nurses had realised what the rash was.

This patient was ‘Blued’ into hospital but despite all the knowledge and skills available, he only lasted another 90 minutes.

Remind me to add this home to the list of ones that I don’t want to end up in!


At 10:19 pm, Blogger flateric. expert nurse said...

That reminds me of something... Ah yeah, "hang on mate i'll just get the carry chair (and defib, oxy, resus kit ect....)

Of course you know the big cop out a lot of care homes are doing is phoning NHSD for advice, meaning a lot of patients carers are waiting for a nurse adviser to call them back, fine but if they are a nurse why the hell should we advise them how to look after there clients?

You assume a "nurse" in these places has even seen a sepsis rash never mind know how to treat it.


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