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Nurses Held Me Upright When I Fainted


persephone
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I've been in hospital a couple of days after having a procedure done under generral anaesthetic.

The nurses are so ignorant- tried to explain about POTS but they had decided that my problem was not getting up and walking about enough, and that my tachycardia would be cured by not allowing me to lie down.

Today they sat me up in a chair beside my bed. I began to faint. I called a nurse over and was slumping in my chair.

I can't believe that what I'm about to type actually happened:

Instead of laying me flat, this nurse SAT ME BOLT UPRIGHT, tipped my head back and put an oxygen mask on me. She would NOT let me lie flat either on the bed or the floor.

I was trying to telll her I had to lie flat and she said "You're too heavy for me to lift so you have to just sit like this. It's safe for us to do that to you because we're nurses."

My cardios hve always told me it is DANGEROUS to not let a syncopal patient lie flat.

Is it me, or are these nurses NUTS?

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Report the nurse for patient abuse. Just because they are nurses does not make them the authority on what to do when a person faints due to OI. The first thing I do when I feel near syncope is to get down on the ground.

Obviously, both of those nurses have a few screws loose, and they both need their nursing license taken away.

What is the world??????????

I'm sorry you had to deal with more idiots in your life---haven't we all had enough of this??

butterflyhugs.jpg

Maxine :0)

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Guest tearose

That is horrible! They obviously think they know better. What a horrific example of abuse. These nurses diagnosed you on their own and came up with their own treatment plan!!! I would also suggest you file an official complaint. We are just not taken seriously!!!!

You should not have to "prove" my problems in a hospital of all places!!!

Can you ask for a patient advocate? Can someone a friend speak up for you ? Can your physician transfer you to another floor?

I am keeping you in my prayers for treatment with respect and a complete healing.

With love and prayers,

tearose

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Thanks ladies. I'm home now. I'm not fit to be here but I felt at risk in the hospital. I still can't believe they did that. but if I try and report them, they are bound to say I was semi conscious and confused/disorientated. I just can't believe nurses would be so dumb. Well, actually, I can- but I don't want to! :blink:

Still very shaky now.

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I would report them, and if your MD is willing, I would have him write a letter describing POTS and about how the syncope episodes should be managed and treated. Start with the nursing supervisor, and go all the way to the top if you have to. These "nurses" need to be at the very least reprimanded if not fired and have their license taken away from them.

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Never be afraid to report any medical professional that is either rude or not acting in your best interest. I have reported many a nurse...and it very frustrating at times. But you know it is really just ignorance. Many many medical folks have never even heard of it.

I recently read thru my medical notes from a trip to the ER last year...my GP did admit me but made me sound like a nut..I am going to send her information on POTS so the next person doesn't have to go thru this.

I would really like to raise awareness. I am not sure how..any ideas?

Erika

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There is a facebook group declaring that June 6th is a day of visibility, for not only POTS, but for CFS, Fibromyalgia and other invisible disorders. Here is a link to the group. Perhaps locally, one could find other people suffering from these illnesses and band together to spread awareness... take out newspaper ads?

I'm not sure of anything else right now, but I'm sure others have some ideas, too.

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In regards to filing a complaint-----------please do it. Even though you feel that it might not get you anywhere, if enough people complain about abusive behaviour like this, something may get done.

I feel your frustration! "STALKER NURSE"-----the one that stalked me out on this forum due to her own sick agenda to verbally abuse me, along with trying to discredit my need for SSDI-----she has no idea how sick I am. I know there was more then one person involved in this stupid escapade. Otherwise, why would a nurse that I barely know decide to get into my profile to read all of my postings in this forum? Basically, it was a personal attack. It was even more stunning who this nurse worked for! In the end, I filed a complaint. However, the concerted efforts by more then one person involved me being micro-managed by this physician's office-----like I did something wrong. I don't understand how a sociopath like this can keep her job as a nurse caring for physically sick people.

Tonight I sit and look at CNN, and see horrible tragic news of people dying in Haiti due to the Earthquake, but there would be less people dying if they had safe hospitals, and the medical staff to help them save more people-------------just so sad and tragic. I see all kinds of wonderful medical professionals volunteering their time to help, along with many other aids-------------Then you hear about these idiots in our hospitals in the US and the UK causing heart ache just because they want to---------making perfectly equipped hospitals UNSAFE.

I'm glad your home safe Persephone. I think psychological screening needs to be done on a regular basis on medical professionals.

NEEDLESS SUFFERING.

Keep your head held high.

Maxine :0)

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Sorry this happened to you! There are a lot of great nurses and a lot of burnt out insensitive ones as well! It sounds like they could have handled it better. Some of their comments sound like they were inappropriate.

However ... if I were standing there and you were seated and fainting in front of me. Getting you up out of the chair wouldn't be an option until some back up help arrived. Can't stand you because of fall risk especially if you're slumping over in the chair. Laying you on the ground would require more than one person as well to do it safely. The floor really was the only option and that's kind of a last resort. If you're still talking I would think the oxygen was reasonable to see if that improved things enough to go for the bed option. I think the only reason I would sit you straight up though is if it were the only way I could keep you from falling off the chair. Did you end up on the floor or were they able to get you back to bed? Tell me they recruited some help and at least got you back to bed!!!

You should write a letter and explain the situation. If there were enough people around to help for sure they should have been getting a wheel chair and getting you back to bed to allow the blood flow to return. I'm the 1st one to write a letter if I feel something is inappropriately handled and it's the right thing to do. If you don't report that kind of behavior it's allowed to continue and other patients end up being treated badly. I also try to take the time to write a letter if I encounter someone who is really helpful, pleasant, or good at their job. It's nice to hear the positives once and a while as well!! I'm sure there are many of us who have horror stories about nurses to share. I myself have several. Hope you start feeling better soon though and hope you get the good nurses the next time.

The hospital is a scary place to be, especially when you have to worry about safety!!!

Brye

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On a positive note, I would like to add that our family was blessed with good nurses caring for my mother when she was in her last 48 hours of life. The doctors didn't know what they were doing, but the nurses sensed she was very ill, and continued to fight the doctors to get her the appropriate amount of pain medication. It was one female nurse, and one male. They looked at us like they wanted to tell us how intensely stupid these docs must be for not knowing my mother was dying of cancer until the last 48 hours of her life. The things some of these nurses have to hide must be hideous.

Those poor nurses were thrown a monumental task of trying to keep a straight face while they knew a huge mistake was made. There's a lot of "burnt out" nurses that can come accross as callous, and most people can handle that if they get the basic care they need. It's the ones who are abusive, stepping way out of the line that need to have their license pulled before something tragic happens. When this nurse did this to me, she worked for a tursted physician that I placed a lot of hope in. I was so devastated that I fell into a deep depression, and had incredible anxiety----------- who was going to help me now?

Now I have come to terms with it for the most part, although I still struggle to trust nurses in that particular practice. It's sad I have to watch my back like that.

Persephone, that's really a tough situation! It must have been so scary to have these nurses not take your need to be in a supine position seriously. Here you are, vulerable and weak after general anesthesia, and you have a couple of idiots like this putting your life at risk---showing no sensitivity whatsoever.

I hope you're doing OK. Let us know.

Maxine :0)

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I totally understand your fear. HOWEVER, I worked as a nurse before I became disable by POTS and nurses are NOT allowed to diagnose patients. They can make implementations based on a physician's suggestion, but what they did to you was akin to refusing to give a diabetic patient sugar when their blood sugar is too low. Can you think of any nurse who would do that? Wouldn't you want that nurse to have some type of reprimand? They really did put you in a life-threatening situation.

You should be able to go to your state's Board of Nursing and file a complaint, and maybe even do it anonymously. If you speak with your doctor about it, maybe he'd be willing to file the complaint on your behalf and he wouldn't have to divulge your personal information. I know you're not feeling well, so any pursuit of this issue may have to wait. But you should try to document what you can remember of your conversations with this nurse/these nurses in case you pursue this later.

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I'm so sorry this happened to you and this is why I hate the ER and being admitted. I really wish the DINET documentary was on youtube and when we are with a new care taker they could watch it. I have had numerous dumbo experiences where they admited making me worse when they never got in touch with my doctor. Now I have full permissiom to page him until he is reached.

xxx's,

bellamia~

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Hi persphone,

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with these nurses. I am also a nurse. I find it hard to imagine that nurses who, I assume are used to working with patients who have had general anesthetics, would not know how to handle fainting. It's very common post anesthetic, or even in patients who have been bedridden for a day or two. Nurses should not have to have heard of POTS/OI to know that a person needs to get some blood to their brain immediately! Pretty basic stuff....

It's true that it would not be safe for a nurse to start to transfere a fainting patient back to bed alone (not for the patient or the nurse), but there are ways of getting help quickly if there is not someone right there. That's what the emergency bell is for..... And nurses know how to use it!!! In fact, if you are ever fainting in the hospital again, grab the call bell an pull it out of the wall (if you can). You should get an immediate response by several staff members.

Even to have the patient lean forward, and get her head down until a second nurse arrived would be some help. The O2 was a good idea but not enough.

These experiences certainly don't build any confidence in the competance of health care professionals. I'm also sorry to hear that you are home too soon. This also is a huge problem in our hospitals. Please take care, and be sure to go back if you are not improving. If you do, have your doctor speak to the staff about your condition, and how to handle fainting episodes (although they really should not need to be told).

Summer

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Hi Persephone,

I'm sorry to hear that you were put through such an ordeal in the hospital. I read your post earlier on my iPod and planned my reply (too fiddly to type on a touch screen) but Summer has beaten me to it. I agree that one nurse can't safely lift/move a patient who is on the verge of fainting but he/she should have known what to do. The standard advice for an imminent faint is to lie down or squat but if that is not possible (eg in a cinema) then you should put your head between your knees (head lower than heart).

The ideal action from the nurse would have been to get your head between your knees, call for help / emergency bell, then put you on high flow oxygen.

By insisting that you sit bolt upright the nurse put you are risk of a full faint and if they had continued to keep you upright then it is likely that you would have had a hypoxic seizure.

I would encourage you to make a complaint, it will trigger a "clinical incident" which has to be investigated so that lessons can be learnt and staff can be given training to ensure that this doesn't happen again (to you or anyone else). If they were ordinary ward nurses then you could raise the issue with the ward manager or go higher to the surgical matron. Another approach (and better supported) is to contact the PALS team (Patient Advice and Liaison Service). PALS are usually non-clinical staff who's job is to help sort out any concerns / difficulties that patients have with clinical staff (or anything else related to the hospital). PALS can take your concerns and get them investigated and fed back to you without you having to come into contact with the nurse involved.

I hope that you have a good GP that you can keep in touch with over the next few days to make sure that you are okay to be at home. Perhaps they could get a district nurse to come out to you?

Take care,

Flop

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Flop is spot on with the recommendations. For those of us in the U.S., we have greater protections including "patient rights" and typically, a patient advocate or representative in each hospital to help sort out these kinds of things...

--but b/c Pers is in the UK, she has lots to consider, including that she might end up at the same hospital with little choice of who her nursing staff is and may encounter these people or their supervisors again. I would definitely follow the steps flop outlined and see where that takes you.

Sorry you had such a rough time--most nurses know better--sounds like she go too self important to think logically in that moment

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