Believe it or NOT...IV stories

  1. Who here has hit an artery?
    I did only once, but it really got my attention.

    What is the oddest/weirdest place you have seen an IV site?
    I had a series of ER admits come up with IVs in their breast/chest areas. It seemed that maybe a new nurse or EMT was working? Then all of a sudden never saw it again.

    Have you ever had a junkie offer to start their own IV?
    I've had the offer but never allowed it. Other nurses tell me that they left the jelco there and magically an IV site appeared when they returned.

    Have you ever had a stopcock bleed out?
    No but I have seen a temporary dialysis shunt in a prisoner's ankle bleed out. He was restless apparently and kicked the clamp loose. ( This was a LONG time ago. Do they still use Bulldog clamps?)The guard came to the desk where I was getting report right after I got on. He said "could y'all come look at ______, he doesn't look so good. He was totally exsanguantted!

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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Polarbear
    Sorry never hit an artery

    seen it in the breast several times but the wierdest had to be in this gentlemans penis. He was confused and restrained.

    Junkie start their own.
    Once when I was a student a junkie with HIV offered and the nurse that was there just handed him the stuff. He got it in no problem.

    Being new to Hemo dialysis I'm just hearing the stories. This one confused lady with a leg graft played with the venous needle causing it to fall out. The machine never alarmed because the needle stuck into her diaper and gave enough back pressure. it was only noticed when the BP alarm went off and the nurse almost stepped in a pool of blood that came from below the bed. Policy changed after that.
  4. by   debbyed
    1. Never personally hit an artery, but had a new nurse that did and couldn't understand why the blood kept going up the IV tubing.

    2. Sent a Little Old Lady to the floor with a butterfly in a scalp artery; she was contracted and had absolutly no veins. Physician tried a central line X 3 with no success. LOL had only a few wisps of hair and had several great veins showing. The doc put it in and up to the floor she went. The med/surg nurses were not amused.

    3. Have several frequent flyer IVDA's with serious health problems. A couple have left one vein along specifically for medical treatment. Have 2 that are quite competent at starting their own. Of course it would be inappropriate to allow them to do so (Hey, how did that line get started??I didn't see anything!!!)

    4. Only time I've ever seen a stop-cock bleed out is when the patient was playing with it.

    5. Had a patient show up in the ER (he drove himself) from a physicians office with IV lidocaine running. Not taking many chances there, were they? We did report this as a sentinel (Serious) event to risk management.The doc was given a slap on the wrist.

    6. Had another patient show up with an IV of 0.9NS running. She had been in a different hospital and felt that her treatment was taking to long so she left with IV intact and drove to our ER. Her reason? "I didn't want to be stuck again" Patient stated that she was having back pain and they weren't giving her the appropriate doses of Demerol. They only gave her 50mgs of Demerol IV over a two hour period. Did I note that she drove herself??? She said that she always gets 100mg of Demerol IV.

    7. Had a patient that didn't want us to start any IV's in his forearms because he didn't want us to mess up any of his tatoo's. His problem?? He was having an acute MI and needed TPA which meant he needed 3 IV lines. Let's see Death vrs Tatoo, what would you do?

    8. Oh yes, than there was a code patient. Full cardio/pulm. arrest. The cause? Overdose of morphine. He was a CA patient on a PCA pump at home. We revived him with ACLS and narcan (yes he was a full code), but guess what, we couldn't turn his PCA pump off, it was locked. We disconected it and let it run out in the trash can. Turns out the Morphine mixture had been mixed wrong and was 10 times stronger than ordered. Risk Management was upset that we couldn't account for all the morphine mixture. I offered them the red bag out of the trash can. They too were not amused. P.S. We also managed to put the poor man into withdrawl. Not a good night.



  5. by   Zee_RN
    Love those, debbyed! Haven't stuck an artery but have had a couple central lines in arteries. Had a new nurse in the unit who couldn't understand why she needed to run all her IV piggybacks via the femoral central line using pressure bags. On a whim, we hooked it up to vamp tubing...my, oh, my what a wonderful waveform we got. Anyone need a blood gas here? Yanked that sucker. What was really interesting is that NO WHERE in the chart was there any documentation of a central line being inserted...as it turns out the patient had been coded in the ER where the ER doc slipped in the triple lumen central line and in the heat of it all, it was never documented as done.
  6. by   Julie Ann
    I had a GI active Bleeder that needed a couple of big IV (14 or bigger). Refused to let EMS start them below the elbow.....so the did Bilateral's in the deltoid region.......Mad B/P a little tough.........

    Also have never bit a artery but had a MI with such a B/p that I wondered......I can still see that blood backing up when you changed the bags.

    And strangest thing I ever saw was a cut down in the unit the guy had a big bleed and ended up bleeding out .......we tried to do everything.......it was pretty ugly.
  7. by   misti_z
    Who here has hit an artery?

    Had classmate in nursing school who asked me to look at the IV that she started with a nurse (not the instructor) before she asked the instructor to look at it. Why does blood keep running up the tubing? She asked. I told her that I would have to guess that it was in an artery Instructor had a fit that nurse who observed the procedure didn't think anything about the blood gushing in floor even with student trying to occlude with thumb!!

    What is the oddest/weirdest place you have seen an IV site?

    Honest to god IJ IV. Also had one in shoulder area.

    Have you ever had a junkie offer to start their own IV?

    Had one tell me--The only place your going to get anything is here...pointing to foot
  8. by   imn2nursing
    This is definitely a believe it or not........ this happened in a hospital I used to work in. The patient was NPO and a new grad was taking care of him. He also had some PRN meds. Patient had order for milk of mag and requested it.... where do you think the nurse put it????????????????????????? This was very tragic, but one of those "you've got to be kidding?"
  9. by   Mijourney
    Hi imn2. Yes, yes. I've encountered that too. MOM drawn up in a syringe. To be given where? Well, the new grad left the needle on the syringe as she was going into the patient room, so you got it! No, she did not get to go through with it. Had her use her drug book diligently until she got in the habit of using it all the time when she wasn't sure of a med. She turned out to be a very good nurse.

    Tragically, a new grad administered a vial of potassium chloride to a renal patient IV push. I wasn't there when she did this, but you know what happened.

    I was a patient in the ER one day a while back and a new respiratory therapist kept hitting my vein instead of hitting an artery for ABGs. Hmmm, got that backwards don't we?

    IVs in the head? Isn't that frequently done in pediatric patients?

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