A general question

  1. I apologize for the lengthly induction to my question.


    Recently I had went before a special decision making committee to have a PEG Tube inserted into a 86y.o. lady (dx: mr, hypothryroidism, hypertension,functional hypothermia, wheelchair bound, ) This is a committee of typically a lawyer, a doctor and a few other important people I assisted the RN in representing this lady as her dysphagia had gotten increasingly worse over the year. We battled out for over an hour quanity vs quality of life for this lady. She had been recently hospitalized for high impaction/dehydration. We immediately thought it was thick-it (a thickening agent to help her swallow thin fluids) Her continually bloodwork was lousy. Initially they had voted no. I explained from the point of view of the staff that if she was hospitalized again or even death what would be the reprocussion of the direct care staff sense they had done everything they could and she still got hospitalized. Another debate went on. Finally it was decided they couldnt deny her food/water (They said with the recent court proceedings of Terri Schavio people look at things in a different light) So the tube was granted. That was Dec 14th. She died on the 26th. I had seen her at the facility she was transferred to (we cant support tube feedings at the home i work in) and she looked great. I dont have the report on cause of death yet.I dont believe there could be a tie binds the death r/t the placement but i have to wonder. so my question is: Has anyone ever dealt with people getting the PEG placement and living a short amount of time after?
    (I know she was 86, I quess I am just second guessing how hard I fought for the tube when I thought i was in her best interest. Just feeling kinda down about this one. )
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Being in the ER the only time I deal with these is if the pt comes in with one incidentally, or if it falls out and we have to keep the stoma open. I've seen one young man who has had one for years, severe CP and unable to eat on his own. Others I've seen with them for just a few months for therapeutic feedings. I've never heard of anyone dying soon after it's inserted unless there was a post-op infection or other underlying problem.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    she could have aspirated on the fdg, esp if she was laying flat, had gerd....

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