Now this really bothers me. We had a resident who was transfered to a medical facility just to be placed on a vent. Scenerio: Contracted, stage IV decubes on both hips, heels, GT, S/P tube, trach, vegatative state, 80m y/o male. Family never came to visit, yet wants him vented. Has had pneumonia so many times that it's inhumane. I realize it's none of my business what the family wants for him, but is this not right? I'm sure if he could speak he wouldn't want to be kept alive like this. Sometimes my heart just breaks for my residents and this is one time that it broke. There is only one reason I could come up with for his of plan of care. What do you think it is?
Aug 10, '03
Thank you for all of your responses. It is above and beyond the realms of "horrible" to me to think that people would do this to a human being just for money. This is a pt. who was given up for dead when his body was thrown in the back of a truck with the rest of the deceased soldiers during battle. When they unloaded the bodies, he was found to still be barely breathing. Twenty years ago when he was with us, the family made that known perfectly clear by leaving xeroxed copies of newspaper articles taped on the wall by his bed and medals of honor on top of his bedside table. There was a time when he was very rambunctious but totally confused and would climb over the bed rails and fall on the floor and sustained a broken shoulder, and another time sustained a nasty laceration on his head. Family toyed with the idea of a soft chest restraint. When we placed one on him, (when it was allowed to use them) the family had a fit because it was too restraining. Got rid of that and tried an enclosed bed because it was less restrictive yet he could still move around, family thought we were inhumane and had him transferred to another unit so he could receive "better and proper care." Through the years while off our unit, he was placed on other units for the same reason as described previous and in the meantime the family came to visit less and less. He was trached and became vegatative and eventually returned to us because he had made his "tour" of the facility! We had him for about six months where he was given the utmost of care, but despite all the turning and all the care given to him developed pnemonia over five times that I could remember, but remained a full code throughout. Two weeks ago he was transferred to a medical facility for again pneumonia where he was basically at death's door and was then placed on a ventilator.
Isn't it ironic how he was such a hero when they found him barely breathing on that truck and did everything possible to keep him alive only to be made to suffer for many years while at our facility and to end up suffering to an even greater extent in his condition and then to be forced to stay alive. What other reasons could there possibly be for this man to be kept to suffer like this? All the money in the world couldn't make me do this to another human being. He is the biggest hero I've ever come across in all my years of nursing. May God hold him close as I'm sure he is and take him with him (soon) where his suffering will finally end and where he will finally be at peace.
Last edit by night owl on Aug 10, '03