So...at work today I did a little artwork. And I have got to say...it was an awesome and shocking display, but especially for me and the respiratory therapist, who were at the patient's bedside.
I received an ICU patient. This means a patient coming from surgery needing an ICU bed. These patients normally need a higher acuity of care, but occasionally they are fine and their surgeon just wants them to go to the ICU for extra monitoring. For HIPPA rules and patient confidentiality, we'll call him George (which is not his real name). George had a major surgery which required part of his lung being taken out and 2 chest tubes put in. Yes, it sounds painful...and it IS very painful. Chest tubes vary in size, but on average are the size of one of those large pixie sticks. Yeah. Ouch.
Anyways, to get on with the story....ICU patients almost always need blood drawn from their ART lines (arterial lines) and this patient needed some, including a blood gas. Blood gases are drawn up in a syringe and a cap screws on top and you push the plunger of the syringe up into the cap to fill this sponge like material with the blood. Then you place it on ice and send it to lab.
So I'm drawing this blood gas and I make sure the cap is on tight and I go to push the plunger up. !POP! The cap flies off and I have a beautiful array of blood splattered against everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! It was all over the wall, ceiling, chairs, desk, chart, computer, the respiratory therapist's arm and my shirt! It would have been hilarious had I not been so busy. So yes, that was my masterpiece for the day. It was definitely shocking!