Early this morning I posted “My child is in a pain-free sleep. I will now try to sleep. “Tomorrow may be a rough day” https://tersiaburger.com/2012/12/07/tomorrow-may-be-a-rough-day/ not realising that the night was not over yet.
My poor child had a horrible night. The pain was under control, but her arm still throbbed, and she was restless. I was busy with some Christmas gifts. I tried to go to sleep, but gave it up as a bad job. So I wrote a post. At 2am this morning I had just “published” when Vic rang the intercom.
The intercom is her 911
I ran down the passage knowing that my poor child had vomited again. The poor little thing was standing in the shower covered in her 7 pm dinner and antibiotic tablets. The food had not digested at all. She was shivering and crying.
I cleaned up whilst Vic showered.
“I am sorry Mommy. I am so sorry Mommy”… Vic sobbed.
“I can’t do this anymore Mommy. I don’t want to live like this anymore….”
I eventually got into bed at 5am. Three hours sleep used to be enough sleep when I was younger. I think I am getting old. I need more than 3 hours. Maybe it is time to look at a night nurse…..
Hospice called early this morning. The antibiotics have been changed to IM injections. We cannot put up an IV drip. Sr Siza told Vic she should be admitted to hospital to have the abscess lanced and drained. Vic refused. “No more hospitals. Mommy you promised…”
Monday morning Dr Sue will come to the house and do the procedure here.
Yesterday I spoke with a wonderful young man, Marchelle. I was privileged to have worked with Marchelle worked for a couple of years. Unfortunately we lost a large contract and had to go our separate ways.
Marchelle has a pure heart. He is selfless and one of the very few people I trust with every fibre of my being. Marchelle has never let me down.
Marchelle told me he is following my blog. He asked me whether I thought the situation is truly as bad as Hospice say it is. I said I did.
He asked “what is different this time? You have been told so many times that Vic was dying, and then she bounces back…”
I started giving him the facts; Vic is in renal and hepatic failure… This time she cannot bounce back. Organ failure is organ failure…. Talking to him I thought “Marchelle is right! Why am I giving up this time? I have NEVER given up on my child, and I will not give up now.”
I walked into Vic’s room and stood in the door looking at my beautiful little girl sleeping. I am so tired that I am allowing the negativity of the situation to get to me. It was however only at 4:00 am that the reality of Vic’s situation re-settled around my heart like a lead jacket – I know my child has had enough.
Marchelle said he prays for us every day, and I believe him.
This morning Vic took her precious boys to pick up their report cards. Both Danie and I said we would take them. Vic very politely refused. She wanted to take her boys. She wanted to be first to see their marks. Maybe for the last time…
She was absolutely delighted with their marks. The boys had worked hard and deserve every mark they received. I wonder whether the boys will remember in the years to come that their Mommy got out of her sick- bed to go with them to collect their 2012 report cards.
We are so proud of them. They are brave kids.
On Sunday we will celebrate my birthday. On the 24th we will have our first Christmas dinner with Lani, Tom and all their kids. Simone still believes in Santa! On the 25th we will go to Church. On the 26th we will celebrate Jared’s birthday. On the 27th we will start planning our New Year celebrations.
Forward planning is “The power of positive thinking”…
It is 12:42am and Vic is sleeping peacefully. She had a “good” day. In between her naps she had lunch with a friend, a visit from Esther and a walk in the garden with Jared!
Vic’s legs are growing very weak. The cellulitis on her arm has worsened despite the antibiotics. It is now oozing pus. Sr Siza will see her tomorrow, and I believe Vic will have to go onto IV antibiotics. She had a violent vomiting spell just after she took her antibiotic tablets tonight. It is very difficult for her to keep tablets and food down. Despite the six-hourly anti-nausea injections she has…. And of course there is the problem of the poor absorption.
“I can’t do this anymore…” Vic mumbled to herself tonight after the vomiting episode.
The situation is getting to Danie. My poor husband tries so hard to be strong and make life easier for the rest of us. Jared and Jon-Daniel are deeply conscious of the situation.
“Life will be horrible without Mommy” Jared said today. “She takes so much of our time, and such a big space in our lives…. Mommy has such a presence Oumie…”
We spoke about his little brother and Jon-Daniel’s inability and aversion to discuss his emotions.
I realised that the boys are already starting to dread the void Vic’s passing will leave. Anticipatory grief is a killer. It is unfair that these two beautiful boys have to experience so much pain and hardship in their young lives. They should be riding their bikes and getting up to mischief. Now they are stressed out because their mother is dying.
I am too tired to write anything that makes sense. I just need to record today. I never want to forget today.
I want to remember how I felt when I lay with my child this afternoon. I want to remember her tears when she spoke to her sister. I want to remember the smell of her vomit. Maybe it will make it easier to accept later on.
The subcutaneous driver is down. By this morning it was obvious that Vic’s tissue was just not holding up.
On Friday morning I removed and repositioned the driver. Serum leaked out of the syringe hole for almost two days. The area is inflamed, hot to the touch, swollen and painful. Cellulitis has struck! Yesterday evening I repositioned the driver again and this afternoon I removed it. So I will now administer the 150mg of morphine and the 60 ml Stemitil IM. Vic’s derriere is black and blue and lumpy from the injections.
Where to from here? How are we going to control this poor child’s pain? I can only think that they will have to fit a central line… Will they do it? She will have to go into theatre for that! There is absolutely no way I would allow the procedure without sedation! Central lines are very susceptible to infection and sepsis.
Poor baby. She is so ill.
Today I said to my BFF, Gillian, that it is almost as if, now the decision has been made regarding “her” Hospice, she is at peace. I sat next to her and thought to myself “I wonder if she will make Christmas?” But then I thought to myself “Wait a minute…This is Vic…She bounces back!”
Tomorrow her doctor will come and see her, she will go onto a course of antibiotics and bounce back again. Then we will decide how to deal with her pain…Central venous catheter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_venous_catheter
|Central venous catheter|
In medicine, a central venous catheter (“central line”, “CVC”, “central venous line” or “central venous access catheter”) is acatheter placed into a large vein in the neck (internal jugular vein), chest (subclavian vein or axillary vein) or groin (femoral vein). It is used to administer medication or fluids, obtain blood tests (specifically the “mixed venous oxygen saturation”), and directly obtain cardiovascular measurements such as the central venous pressure.
There are several types of central venous catheters:
Non-tunneled vs. tunneled catheters
Non-tunneled catheters are fixed in place at the site of insertion, with the catheter and attachments protruding directly. Commonly used non-tunneled catheters include Quinton catheters.
Tunneled catheters are passed under the skin from the insertion site to a separate exit site, where the catheter and its attachments emerge from underneath the skin. The exit site is typically located in the chest, making the access ports less visible than if they were to directly protrude from the neck. Passing the catheter under the skin helps to prevent infection and provides stability. Commonly used tunneled catheters include Hickman catheters and Groshong catheters.
A port is similar to a tunneled catheter but is left entirely under the skin. Medicines are injected through the skin into the catheter. Some implanted ports contain a small reservoir that can be refilled in the same way. After being filled, the reservoir slowly releases the medicine into the bloodstream. An implanted port is less obvious than a tunneled catheter and requires very little daily care. It has less impact on a person’s activities than a PICC line or a tunneled catheter. Surgically implanted infusion ports are placed below the clavicle (infraclavicular fossa), with the catheter threaded into the right atrium through large vein. Once implanted, the port is accessed via non-coring “Huber” needles inserted through the skin. The health care provider may need to use topical anesthetic prior to accessing port. Ports can be used for medications, chemotherapy, TPN, and blood. As compared to CVC or PICC catheters, ports are easy to maintain for home-based therapy.
Ports are typically used on patients requiring only occasional venous access over a long duration course of therapy. Since the port must be accessed using a needle, if venous access is required on a frequent basis a catheter having external access is more commonly used.
A peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC line (pronounced “pick”), is a central venous catheter inserted into a vein in the arm rather than a vein in the neck or chest.
Depending on its use, the catheter is monoluminal, biluminal or triluminal, dependent on the actual number of lumens (1, 2 and 3 respectively). Some catheters have 4 or 5 lumens, depending on the reason for their use.
The catheter is usually held in place by an adhesive dressing, suture, or staple which is covered by an occlusive dressing. Regular flushing with saline or a heparin-containing solution keeps the line patent and prevents thrombosis. Certain lines are impregnated with antibiotics, silver-containing substances (specifically silver sulfadiazine) and/or chlorhexidine to reduce infection risk.
Specific types of long-term central lines are the Hickman catheters, which require clamps to make sure the valve is closed, and Groshong catheters, which have a valve that opens as fluid is withdrawn or infused and remains closed when not in use. Hickman lines also have a “cuff” under the skin, to prevent bacterial migration and to cause tissue ingrowth into the device for long term securement.
Indications and uses
Indications for the use of central lines include:
- Monitoring of the central venous pressure (CVP) in acutely ill patients to quantify fluid balance
- Long-term Intravenous antibiotics
- Long-term Parenteral nutrition especially in chronically ill patients
- Long-term pain medications
- Drugs that are prone to cause phlebitis in peripheral veins (caustic), such as:
- Peripheral blood stem cell collections
- Frequent blood draws
- Frequent or persistent requirement for intravenous access
- Need for intravenous therapy when peripheral venous access is impossible
Central venous catheters usually remain in place for a longer period of time than other venous access devices, especially when the reason for their use is longstanding (such as total parenteral nutrition in a chronically ill patient). For such indications, a Hickman line, a PICC line or a portacath may be considered because of their smaller infection risk. Sterile technique is highly important here, as a line may serve as a porte d’entrée (place of entry) for pathogenic organisms, and the line itself may become infected with organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococci.
The skin is cleaned, and local anesthetic applied if required. The location of the vein is then identified by landmarks or with the use of a small ultrasound device. A hollow needle is advanced through the skin until blood is aspirated; the color of the blood and the rate of its flow help distinguish it from arterial blood (suggesting that an artery has been accidentally punctured), although this method is inaccurate. Ultrasound probably now represents the gold standard for central venous access and skills, within North American and Europe, with landmark techniques are diminishing.
The line is then inserted using the Seldinger technique: a blunt guidewire is passed through the needle, then the needle is removed. A dilating device may be passed over the guidewire to slightly enlarge the tract. Finally, the central line itself is then passed over the guidewire, which is then removed. All the lumens of the line are aspirated (to ensure that they are all positioned inside the vein) and flushed. A chest X-ray is typically performed afterwards to confirm that the line is positioned inside the superior vena cava and, in the case of insertion through the subclavian vein, that no pneumothorax was caused as a side effect. Vascular positioning systems can also be used to verify tip placement during insertion without the need to a chest X-ray, but this technique is not yet a standard of practice.
Central line insertion may cause a number of complications. The benefit expected from their use therefore needs to outweigh the risk of those complications.
Pneumothorax (for central lines placed in the chest); the incidence is thought to be higher with subclavian vein catheterization. In catheterization of the internal jugular vein, the risk of pneumothorax can be minimized by the use of ultrasound guidance. For experienced clinicians, theincidence of pneumothorax is about 1.5-3.1%. Some official bodies, e.g. the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (UK), recommend the routine use of ultrasonography to minimize complications.
Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
All catheters can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, but CVCs are known for occasionally causing Staphylococcus aureus andStaphylococcus epidermidis sepsis. The problem of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) has gained increasing attention in recent years. They cause a great deal of morbidity and deaths, and increase health care costs. Historically, a small number of CVC infections were considered an acceptable risk of placing central lines. However, the seminal work by Dr. Peter Pronovost at Johns Hopkins Hospital turned that perspective on its head. Additionally, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) has done a tremendous amount of work in improving hospitals’ focus on central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), and is working to decrease the incidence of this particular complication among US hospitals.
The 13 Elements of Performance (EPs):
- EP 1 & 2 deal with educating staff and patients about Central Vascular Catheters and their potential complications
- EP 3 specifically directs facilities to implement policies and practices to reduce CLABSI
- EP 4 & 5 are about how to perform surveillance for Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs)
- EP 6-13:
– Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) bundle
- 1. Hand Hygiene
- 2. Full body drape
- 3. Chlorhexidine gluconate skin anti-septic
- 4. Selection of Optimal site for Central venus Catheter (CVC)
- 5. Daily review of ongoing need for CVC
– Disinfection of intravenous access ports before use
National Patient Safety Goals require documentation of a checklist for CVC insertion and Disinfection of intravenous (IV) access ports before use (scrub the hub). Some literature has suggested the use of a safer vascular access route – such as intraosseous (IO) vascular access – when central lines are not absolutely necessary (such as when central lines are being placed solely for vascular access). Infection risks were initially thought to be less in jugular lines, but this only seems to be the case if the patient is obese.
If a patient with a central line develops signs of infection, blood cultures are taken from both the catheter and from a vein elsewhere in the body. If the culture from the central line grows bacteria much earlier (>2 hours) than the other site, the line is the likely source of the infection. Quantitative blood culture is even more accurate, but this is not widely available.
Generally, antibiotics are used, and occasionally the catheter will have to be removed. In the case of bacteremia from Staphylococcus aureus, removing the catheter without administering antibiotics is not adequate as 38% of such patients may still develop endocarditis.
In a clinical practice guideline, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against routine culturing of central venous lines upon their removal.The guideline makes a number of further recommendations to prevent line infections.
To prevent infection, stringent cleaning of the catheter insertion site is advised. Povidone-iodine solution is often used for such cleaning, but chlorhexidine appears to be twice as effective as iodine. Routine replacement of lines makes no difference in preventing infection.
Rarely, small amounts of air are sucked into the vein as a result of the negative Intra-thoracic pressure and insertion technique. Valved insertion devices can reduce this risk. If these air bubbles obstruct blood vessels, this is known as an air embolism.