someone please help me to understand

Nurses General Nursing


Thankyou for reading this.......

I will try to keep this brief (it will be difficult)

On April 28th I lost my Mother.

She was 67 yrs. old, she had battled ( and kept at bay) non hodgkins lymphoma for the better part of 20 yrs.(amazing)

She had Congestive Heart Failure, and only one "functioning" kidney,

over the years of her battle she has had numerous rounds of tests, treatments, interventions , ie: abdominal parenthesis (weekly) for months.

etc. (too mauch to list)

her heart problem inevitably created kidney problems, but she was monitered closely. she went to a wonderful University hospital, even though it was an hours drive. shes been doing good for some time going for weekly procrit shots.

In March she went for her weekly procrit shot, she had

been having diahrrea, and was found to be dehydrated with very low blood pressure.

They admitted her, stopped all her meds (heart blood pressure etc.)

Began hydrated her slowly, and she swelled. they discovered her kidney was not functioning well, and ultimately deemed it as failure.

also, they found she had a blood infection, (staph i think)

treatment included...

jugular catheter placement for immediate dialysis

and vanco for the infection.

she was passing blood through her rectum so they did an endo to see why,

and could only suggest perhaps it was gastroenteritis, irritation.

the day after the endo my mom appeared to have a mild stroke, but thankfully, no damage or signs of it the next day.

finally after 2 weeks of hospitalization they removed her porta cath from former chemo treatments because they felt that was causing the infection. It cleared and she was released, but could not have dialysis at the university because she lived too far, they would not allow her to travel that distance. (?)


she had to go locally (yuk)

they squeezed her in for her thrice weekly dialysis.

she did this for 2 weeks

on wednesday of week 3, her 8th time to this unit she went in telling them she was freezing and not feeling well they did cultures, dialysis and sent her home.

I went over her house and stayed with her till 1 a.m, she was shivering cause she was cold,sleepy and had a mild fever (100), Dad had the flu shortly before she came home so he and I assumed on top of all else poor Mom was getting it.

she was cold and weak, same symptoms he had.

She shivered and moaned and was unres[ponsive ( I thought cause she was feeling ill) in the chair and finally went to sleep , so I came home at 1.

My dad called me at 8 am to tell me she was unresponsive, I told him thats how she was during the night, again when my Mom is sick she closes her eyes and doesn't want to be bothered, so .... this is what I assumed was happening.

I told him as soon as the boys get on the school bus I will be there.

8:15 he called back to say , no need to hurry.

My Mom passed away .


fast forward to now, the whirlwind is slowing and I am at total peace with my Mom not suffering anymore.


after ALL she has been through I cannot believe what she died from

I thought her heart failed


her death certificate, which I just read for the first time says her cause of death was Septicemia & Uremia

I am not a Nurse (yet...aug 30th is my orientation)

but help me to understand how if she was having dialysis, how could she have uremia? again I am at peace I just am confused....

and as far as septicemia..... I just am confused.

Thabks if you have read all this and any response is welcome.

take care, Monica


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GrnHonu99, RN

1,459 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Critical Care.

I am so sorry for you loss. I do not know the answer to your question but I wanted to offer my condolences.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I can't say WHY she had these infections with true accuracy----lots of possiblities. People with limited kidney function are very susceptible to infections, in general.

I do wish to tell you I am sorry you lost your mom. My heart goes out to you; I can see how painful all of this is for you. I would really move you to ask the doctor(s) involved in her care for the answers you seek. ((((gentle hugs))))


375 Posts

I very sorry for the loss of your Mom.

Although she had chronic lymphoma, it sounds like the immediate underlying things were her heart and kidneys. She was also being treated for an infection which lead to sepsis causing the casade of multi-organ failure.

By what you have written, It sounds like the infection caused hypo-perfusion and/or perfusion abnormalities (enhanced by CHF) leading to an increased acidotic state, which is under the umbrella of uremia (enhanced by the kidney failure) which lead to death.

I hope this is helpful.

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.

ooops.. didn't realize there were two threads with same topic.

Monica, I posted on the other one.


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