The Patient I Failed

I met her one Tuesday night, and spent that night pouring Jevity into her tube, only to suction it back out. Her legs were cool and mottled, her bowel sounds were non-existent, and her blue eyes stared blindly at a ceiling she could no longer see. The MD refused to terminate feedings, but I held them since there was no digestion taking place. The woman was turned and repositioned every 2 hours, and each time, she moaned and gurgled as her lungs slowly filled with fluid. I whispered my apologies as I did the very things to her she tried so hard to prevent. Nurses Relations Article


You are reading page 4 of The Patient I Failed


22 Posts

:heartbeatA heart breaking story so beautifully written.Sometimes I feel less as a nurse by crying so often when reading stories like this one. Thank you so much for letting us have a glance to human nature. Why do you think the daughter did what she did? Can we blame her? Maybe she's so afraid to let go because of the fear of loneliness.


2 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac/med/aged care/emergency.

Thankyou for sharing that with us, I wonder do family realize what they do. Love is a cruel thing sometimes.:sniff:


11 Posts

Specializes in CCU,ICU,DOU,MED/SUG, Recovery.

thanks for the story. it makes me think back to why i became a nurse. thanks again for sharing this story.


1 Post

what a sad story,, .. it really awaken those people involved.. thanks for sharing those stories,,,:cry:


323 Posts

Specializes in Wilderness Medicine, ICU, Adult Ed..

Nerdtonurse, you not only did a good job caring for this woman, you have also given her a voice through your writing. What a valuable gift you have given her, and at such cost to yourself! I pray that, on the day of my death, it will be as good a nurse as you who cares for me.


15 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Home Health.

:heartbeatI know how you feel. I went through similar episode. My husband went thru surgery @ hospital, developed ARDS, was trached, developed renal failure,was dialized. this lasted from a Feb to ist of May. I refused for him to be coded, shocked, or CPR, but after his heart stopped they gave him epi/atropine, which of course resulted in heart restarting. He had feeding tube-replaced with Peg tube developed contractures,pressure ulcers from the slighest touch, had mrsa, diarrhea constantly. I finally made a decision

to move him to patient room on floor. this was done , his o2 was connected to outlet of 10 liters. I did all of his care that night, slept with him, I held him and talked to him of our life together from when we met to now. I apologized to him for the agony I put him thru and the fact I let him go. I don't know if he comprehended but he died the next morning. I don't know if I helped or hindered my husband's care , but I live with guilt to this day and it's been 5 years. God bless you and you will be in my prayers.:redbeathe


7 Posts

:yeah: well described. i could imagine every scenario.


38 Posts

Specializes in med-surg, geriactrics, oncology, hospi.

Very sad,I teared up. Why wasn't an ethics committee meeting held?I've known of more than 1 meeting held , in regards to family that won't accept the inevitable /pts. wishes.All the doctors can sign off if interventions are fruitless.The rest of the family still could sue too for hospital disregarding the living will.This would bother me forever.


7 Posts

This is such a sad story and a hard reality to deal with.


3 Posts


I work in a PICU and this happens here also.

I realize it's hard enough with an adult but even harder with a child.:cry:

Thank you for expressing this so beautifully.

I am having DNR tatooed on my butt!!:smokin:


47 Posts

Specializes in Hospice.

Dear Lord, please let the doctor that did not stand up for this patient know what this patient went through, and EXPERIENCE IT HIMSELF SOMEDAY. AMEN....


43 Posts

Specializes in med/surg,ortho, tele,.

Thank you nerdtonurse for for sharing this.

It touched and brought up a few tears. Something we've all had to face at some point in our nursing careers or personal lives.

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