Heart Transplant

19 Nov

After about 18 months of nursing I had my first patient that came under my care that was a heart transplant recipient. I was so amazed at first. I thought  after everything this patient has been through the patient must be a great patient! Well…I was wrong. The patient was post heart transplant over ten years ago~ Which is great but I was worried, the patient was bossy, irate, would not take medications as prescribed, just “wanted to get out of the hospital”, which made me wonder why the patient came to the hospital in the first place. The patient looked like a bum, was messy, unkempt, and smelly. It was so bizarre. I am not even sure what the outcome was~ As I was leaving the cardiologist on call was trying to get the records from the patients cardiologist in another state. So I am not sure what was going on with this patient. It was strange.

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3 Responses to “Heart Transplant”

  1. hcsllc November 20, 2008 at 01:41 #

    I have been in your place many, many times. It is hard to imagine. I guess I want my patients who have been through such rough times only to emerge with a new heart and a chance at life to be grateful to be alive and celebrating every moment.

    Of course, my patients have not always shared my desires.

    I am a consultant now but spent 15 years taking care of critically ill cardiac patients. It is the hardest thing to do sometimes to suspend judgment and remember that everyone deserves your best care.

    And frankly, as much as I value compassion and kindness and am able to stay true to my values most of the times,. there have been some patients I never could like no matter how hard I tried!

  2. DAP November 21, 2008 at 13:36 #

    Jane,

    I am sure there are all kinds of people out there. But believe me, not all Cardiac Tx patients are like the one you met. I’m 18 months out right now and every week I visit with pre & post transplant patients …… most are fabulous people.

    Please take care.

  3. PQRST November 26, 2008 at 22:51 #

    I remember I had a patient once who had gotten a new liver transplanted. Twice. He was an IV drug addict who was transplanted in the first place because of cirrhosis. Then, he destroyed his second liver by drinking and abusing drugs, and he even got a new one. I have no idea how he was able to even get a transplant the first time, but the second time also?! When I met him, he had his third liver. And still, he was living a wreckless life. He was admitted to the hospital for hep c and a new liver cirrhosis. He had severe jaundice and was very sick. I remember they had found huge liver abscesses, and they wanted to try and drain them. He was deadly sick and I went with him to the lab where they did this ultrasound guided abscess drainage. They did what they could, but the liver was severly damaged. I transported him back to the ward and there he went into cardiac arrest and died. Just few minutes later. Nothing was done to resuscitate him, because he would never get a fourth liver. Poor guy, he was only 34, I think.

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