Anyway, I am writing another story of a fictional character, Carlos, RN. My first one is here. With similarities to my experience with patients, this stories will give you a glimpse of what a shift in intensive care unit looks like. It is gross a lot of times, and not for the squeamish. I apologize.
It is another day. I am once again assigned to Mrs. P who had bleeding on two areas in her esophagus. The areas where embolized yesterday, and she has been stable ever since. She did not throw up any more blood. There is no need to keep her intubated.
We were about to extubate her (remove breathing tube and take off ventilator support) when bright red blood started coming out of her mouth like water from a hose.
F! I almost said the word but I just thought it in my mind.
Immediately, I got her head to the side so she does not aspirate any of it. I suctioned her mouth with a Yankeur. It is like one of those aspirators they use in the dental office.
We are skipping extubation this morning for sure.
Hours later, after more blood transfusions I rapidly administered, and another endoscopy and interventional-radiology-guided procedures, more spots of her esophagus are coiled and embolized to stop her bleeding.
Poor Mrs. P. I am sure when she finally fully recovers, she will never take mega home doses of Advil ever again.
I keep her calm and sedated. I hope she stays stable. At least, she made it through my shift without any more blood gushing out of her mouth . . . yet.