Just some background, I'm a new nurse, been on my own for about 1.5 months on a Med/Surg Tele Unit. I've been floated to the Covid unit several times, and this particular night one pt I had was there more for renal failure than covid but was positive. He's on RA when I arrive, satting in low-mid 90's. I bump him up at bedtime to 2L because he's desatting a little during sleep (like 88-90) but comes back up to baseline.
3am he calls out saying his sugar's low - 54 - so I go to give him a snack and juice because he's A&O and on a regular diet (no thickened liquids, etc.). First sip of juice he takes he starts coughing, continues for like 15 mins, bumped him up to 4L because he desatted a little but comes back up with the 4l.
I feel terrible after this thinking, "great, I gave this poor guy aspiration pneumonia".
After I let the doc know, he's made NPO, swallow eval, cxr, all that. I go to hang some fluids on him around 0630 and he's satting in the mid 90's again, no more cough, says he's fine.
I was off for 4 days and when I come back in see he's in the ICU now, he was transferred the morning I left because he was in resp distress. Then when I went to work last night after 2 more days found out he had died. I feel like it's all my fault he died, like I should've done more, and I set off this chain reaction all because I gave him a sip of juice.