Exposed to patient positive with coronavirus

Updated | Posted
by IRN2011 IRN2011, ASN, BSN Member Nurse

Specializes in CCU, CRRT. Has 7 years experience.

I was taking care of a patient who I admitted as a R/O caronavirus. The patient was admitted In respiratory distress and started on bipap. The patient became acutely confused and started tearing off his bipap. At the time, we were out of masks as they are being locked up in our directors office and the charge nurse was on her way to obtain another box or n95s. I watched as my patients sat dropped from 98 to 80.. to 73.. knowing the patient was RO I entered the room to place bipap back on the patient. (I instantly reported the exposure to my charge nurse who pretty much shrugged it off saying ‘hey probably doesn’t have it anyways’’. He then started to decompensate cardiovascular wise for me... blood pressure kept dropping and heart rate spiked into the 140s sinus. He ended up getting a liter or albumin plus another two liters of NS and started on Levo. I was able to stabilize him throughout the night until morning, gave report and went home.. .. when I came back that next night I found out he passed away on day shift. Fast forward a few day’s and I find out his test came back positive for coronavirus.

I talked to my clinical manager about what I’m supposed to do since I had an exposure with a known positive and their response was along the lines of.. no you can’t be tested and yes you still need to come to work until you show symptoms. This is madness... I feel like if I come to work I’ll be exposing the whole ICU to this virus but I fear the repercussions If I Call out.

EDNURSE20

EDNURSE20, BSN

Specializes in ED, med-surg, peri op. Has 5 years experience. 451 Posts

Talk to your infectious disease nurses at your hospital. They should be able to help you. Go above your boss if you need to. I wouldnt want to risk putting people at risk who are already icu level care.

Nunya

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 771 Posts

If that doesn't work call the health department and see if they can intervene. If that doesn't work public shaming might, call the media. If course you'll lose your job but you might save some lives. ⚖️

beekee

beekee

836 Posts

Yeah, the protocol at my hospital is to keep working unless you show symptoms. Madness? Yup. I got nothing else for you. My thoughts are with you. It’s an incredibly stressful time. Next time, no PPE, no entry. Period.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

WOW!! Puts many of our everyday gripes into perspective. Certainly hope this turns out well for you in all regards.

Delia37

Delia37, MSN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 15 years experience. 144 Posts

Had you consider calling your own physician?? at least he/she can give you an order to be tested.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

I know someone whose job wants them to take a LOA due to their medical problems. When they asked their doctor to start the ball rolling, their doctor told them that no doctors are getting involved with authorizing medical leaves. She told them to file for unemployment. Now that’s what I call being helpful. Wonder if it is true that doctors are helping no one get excused from work.

IRN2011

IRN2011, ASN, BSN

Specializes in CCU, CRRT. Has 7 years experience. 15 Posts

4 hours ago, beekee said:

Yeah, the protocol at my hospital is to keep working unless you show symptoms. Madness? Yup. I got nothing else for you. My thoughts are with you. It’s an incredibly stressful time. Next time, no PPE, no entry. Period.

Two nurses at my hospital have been placed on suspension for saying they are refusing the assignment before shift change until masks are delivered to the unit to ensure they have a mask for their shift

FLOATnureCO

FLOATnureCO

Has 3 years experience. 101 Posts

holy. ***.

Rionoir, ADN, RN

Specializes in Mental Health. 638 Posts

How are your basketball skills? There seems to be an abundance of test kits set aside for basketball players showing no symptoms. ?

16 hours ago, IRN2011 said:

Two nurses at my hospital have been placed on suspension for saying they are refusing the assignment before shift change until masks are delivered to the unit to ensure they have a mask for their shift

This is so outrageous. The media need to hear about this because no one should have to work without PPE when this virus is a killer.