Monday, April 13, 2009

Poop on the roof and other places you do not expect to find it.

I'm sure you are asking at this point, what in the name of dung? Well this update is exactly about what you think it is about, with a twist.  Saturday morning Katharine discovered a dark spot on the ceiling over Elias crib. Roughly the size of a quarter, upon further examination we noticed that it was indeed poop. Let me explain how this is remotely possible before I proceed with the rest of this horrifying and disgusting story. With Elias ostomy bag we extract the stool from it via a 30 mL syringe. Our GI doctors have us track Elias output so this must be measured in the syringe. We are pretty sure what happened was as the nurse was pushing the plunger up, it slipped as they occasionally do and squirted the contents in the direction the syringe was pointed, usually upright. This is our theory, but we will never know the truth. This would have been an acceptable mistake if that was where it ended and if we had been told. However, we noticed that there was also stool sprinkled on all his toys, blankets, and sheets below where the spot above was. This now made it an inexcusable and down right negligent act. We quickly got everything changed and his soiled belongings washed. Then we noticed it on the back frame of the bed, 2 nickel size spots side-by-side and also a thin drip lines on the wall border extending down the wall. We were furious, because now we had no idea what we would find on the other side of the crib, which sets against the wall. What makes this inexcusable is the nurse did not mention that there was a slip up. Secondly, and more importantly, it was not cleaned up especially his bed. It would be understandable not cleaning the ceiling because it is not reachable without moving the crib and a step stool. However, if you know you accidentally shot poop in the air, and I can not imagine how you would not be aware, then I would suspect that you would inspect the area around to get most of the spillage. At the very least what was in the crib. Heck, even for safe measure maybe even change the bed just in case regardless of what you found. So we spent a very large portion of our holiday weekend moving Elias furniture to clean and disinfect the area around his crib. The ceiling was the most difficult to clean. In fact, it was damaged the area and stripped it to exposed drywall, which we will now have to repair. Simple as it may be, it is the principle. As his nurse the following night pointed out If the spot would have been a few feet to the left it would have been right over Elias and potentially fallen onto him or worse yet, in his trach. I am awaiting a phone call from the agency supervisor about this issue. We are obviously going to have to replace her.

It just continues to amazes us how many nurses we have had that make these bone-headed types of mistakes. While there was no harm to Elias, the potential was there, creating an unsafe environment for him, as well as diminishing our confidence level. More importantly, why so many nurses would take a chance with their license for the sake of stupidity and laziness. Protocols exist for a reason, mainly patient safety, but it also serves as a checks and balance for the nurse performing or administering care to prevent these type of mistakes. Lack of compassion, lack of pride, laziness, complacency and entitlement are all contributing mind sets to the repeated but unnecessary errors.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say though.... as a fellow ostomy mom... we did the same method to clean Ky's ostomy and every single time I move furniture (almost a YEAR post ostomy...) I will find poop stains! Walls, carpet, backs of furniture, in between cracks of DRAWERS! And I am the woman who changes the bed sheets every single day! And wipes the crib down with Lysol every single day, and the walls and the feeding pump... so ... to her credit.. I could see how, during a late night changing that poop could have exploded... Sorry you guys are having nurse troubles though. That has to be hard! ((hugs))


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