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Don't Use That Port: Insert a PICC
with commentary by Roy Ilan, MD, MSc
A woman was emergently admitted for surgery for acute appendicitis. Although the patient had a chest port for breast cancer chemotherapy, the surgeon demanded that a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) be placed. The patient developed blood clots from the PICC, and surgery was cancelled. Significant complications, including perforation, peritonitis, and prolonged hospitalization, arose from managing the appendicitis conservatively.
Total Parenteral Nutrition, Multifarious Errors
with commentary by Joseph I. Boullata, PharmD, RPh, BCNSP
A 3-year-old boy hospitalized with anemia who was on chronic total parenteral nutrition was given an admixture with a level of sodium 10-fold higher than intended. Despite numerous warnings and checks along the way, the error still reached the patient.
The Unfamiliar Catheter
with commentary by Sonia C. Swayze, RN, MA, and Angela James, RN, BSN
While drawing labs on a woman admitted after a lung transplant, a nurse failed to clamp the patient's large-bore central line, allowing air to enter the catheter. The patient suffered a cerebral air embolism and was transferred to the ICU for several days.
CVC Placement: Speak Now or Do Not Use the Line
with commentary by Mark Ault, MD, and Bradley Rosen, MD, MBA
A woman found unresponsive at home presented to the ED via ambulance. The cardiology team used the central line placed during resuscitation to deliver medications and fluids during pacemaker insertion. Hours later, a chest radiograph showed whiteout of the right lung, and clinicians realized that the tip of the line was actually within the lung.
Preventing PICC Complications: Whose Line Is It?
with commentary by Nancy Moureau, BSN, RN, CRNI, CPUI, VA-BC
A woman undergoing treatment for myasthenia gravis via PICC developed extensive catheter-related thrombosis, bacteremia, and sepsis, and ultimately died. Although the PICC line was placed at one facility, the patient was receiving treatment at another, raising questions about who had responsibility for the line.
Peripheral IV in Too Long
with commentary by Chi-Tai Fang, MD, PhD
Admitted with a congestive heart failure exacerbation, an elderly man acquired an infection around his peripheral IV site, accompanied by fever, chills, and back pain. Likely secondary to the infected peripheral IV catheter, the patient had developed methicillin-resistant
bacteremia and an epidural abscess.
Wrong Turn through Colon: Misplaced PEG
with commentary by Rachel Sorokin, MD, and Mitchell Conn, MD, MBA
Admitted for treatment of congestive heart failure, an elderly man with a percutaneously placed gastric feeding tube began to have liters of watery stool daily. A tube check revealed that the tip of the feeding tube was in the colon and not the stomach.
A Painful Dilemma
with commentary by Sara N. Davison, MD, MHSc
A woman with end-stage renal disease, who often skipped dialysis sessions, was admitted to the hospital with fever and given intravenous opiates for pain. Because her permanent arteriovenous graft was clotted, she had been receiving dialysis via a temporary femoral catheter, increasing her risk for infection. Blood cultures grew yeast; the patient was diagnosed with fungal endocarditis, likely caused by injections of opiates through her catheter.
The Forgotten Line
with commentary by Marta L. Render, MD
After placing a central line in an elderly patient following a heart attack, a community hospital transferred him to a referral hospital for stenting of his coronary arteries. He was discharged to an assisted living facility 2 days later, with the central line still in place.
More Treatment—Better Care?
with commentary by Rita Redberg, MD, MSc
A patient with Guillain-Barré syndrome received more than the recommended number of plasmapheresis treatments. When the ordering physicians were asked why so many treatments were given, they both responded that the patient was improving so they felt that more treatments would help him recover even more.
Are We Pushing Graduate Nurses Too Fast?
with commentary by Nancy Spector, PhD, RN
While caring for a complex patient in the surgical intensive care unit, a nurse incorrectly set up the continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) machine, raising questions about how new nurses should be trained in high-risk procedures.
with commentary by Jean L. Holley, MD
A man with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis was dialyzed with equipment that had been inappropriately reused, exposing the patient to another patient's blood numerous times.
Who Nose Where the Airway Is?
with commentary by Christopher R. Lee, MD
Following surgery for peripheral vascular disease, a patient otherwise ready for discharge complains of liquid shooting from his nose. The surgeons make the patient NPO and order a consultation from an otolaryngologist, who discovers the nasopharyngeal airway still lodged in the patient's nasal cavity.
Vial Mistakes Involving Heparin
with commentary by Tim Vanderveen, PharmD, MS
Hospitalized for an elective procedure, a patient is given heparin in an incorrect concentration—off by a factor of 100.
Breakage of a PICC Line
with commentary by Vesselin Dimov, MD
A premature infant had a PICC line placed for parenteral nutrition. During an attempt to remove it, the line broke. The infant had to be sent for surgical removal of the catheter and required an increased level of care, including ventilator support.
Are Two Insulin Pumps Better Than One?
with commentary by Curtiss B. Cook, MD
Admitted to the hospital for surgery, a man with type 1 diabetes mellitus asked the staff to leave his home insulin pump in place but did not mention that he was adjusting his insulin pump himself based on serial glucose measurements. As the patient was also receiving an intravenous insulin infusion, he developed hypoglycemia.
Coming Undone: Failure of Closure Device
with commentary by Jose L. Baez-Escudero, MD; Glenn N. Levine, MD
A man underwent coronary angiography; one stent was placed and bypass surgery was scheduled for 4 days later. He developed bleeding at the catheter site and returned to the hospital. A CT scan revealed a large retroperitoneal hematoma, which was repaired surgically. While in the hospital awaiting the delayed bypass surgery, the patient had a cardiac arrest and died.
Resuscitation Errors: A Shocking Problem
with commentary by Benjamin S. Abella, MD, MPhil; Dana P. Edelson, MD
A code blue was called on a man admitted for chest pain, but the defibrillation pads placed on the patient were incompatible with the machine.
Secured But Not Always Safe
with commentary by Jonathan S. Jahr, MD; Puya Hosseini
An elderly woman underwent knee replacement, during which her airway was maintained with a laryngeal mask airway. However, she developed a fever and fullness in her neck, which a CT scan revealed to be retropharyngeal and mediastinal abscesses.
Urinary Retention Dilemma
with commentary by Angela C. Joseph, RN, MSN, CURN
Following elective surgery, a man with benign prostatic hypertrophy began having trouble with urination. Delay in addressing this issue caused discomfort and the need for catheterization and antibiotics.
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