Yesterday (Thursday, 10/29) we went in to Tampa General at 5:30 AM to get Ezra’s PICC line removed from his arm and have his BROVIAC inserted into his chest. This was supposed to be an outpatient procedure, with us home by 11AM. We DID wind up home by 11AM – but it was the next day (today).
I’ll say it loud and clear… the surgeons at Tampa General are some of the best around, but the nurses are horrible. Our ICU nurses were much better… but my goodness. The nurses outside the OR were literally gathered around Ezra’s blood pump trying to figure out how to work the thing. And blood transfusions are a pretty standard thing…
Anyway, we got to the hospital at 5:30AM, and went up to the Surgery area to check in. We were then sent down to the lab so they could run his blood work, only to find the lab didn’t open til 7. We walked back to the surgery area and let them know this… so they said they’d just do the labs themselves, and set us up in a bed. Ezra’s hemoglobin was low, as were his platelets. They ordered blood to get the hemoglobin back up, which got to us around 9ish, then was done transfusing around 11am. He went into the OR shortly after (around noon, actually – doctor had to come by and let us know all that was going to happen, and wait on some platelets which they ordered at 11 to be given to him during the operation).
The idea was the platelets given to him during the operation would be enough to assist his blood in clotting. It was not. When he got out of surgery, around 1ish, Robyn was holding him when she saw he was bleeding quite a bit from the surgical site on his chest. The doctor rushed back out, and redressed the site with a few inches of gauze and ordered more platelets. By the time the platelets got there, the gauze was already soaked again. They let the platelets transfuse (nurses couldn’t figure that one out either!) over 40 minutes (although the dr had ordered over 20, but they couldn’t figure how to make the machine do that), and when the BROVIAC was still oozing, they ordered us a room in the ICU.
We wound up down in the ICU around 6ish, and Ezra got more platelets and plasma as well (both assist in clotting), and stopped bleeding finally around 7. We stayed the night in ICU to make sure all was well, per the doctors orders. Come morning (this morning), the dr came by around 8am, redressed the site and checked to make sure there was no new bleeding – there was not! We were discharged at 10, and home this morning around 11, BROVIAC safe, and Ezra home.
He didn’t eat at all yesterday, except for a popsicle and ice cream which he threw up as he wound up eating them too fast it turned out.
Yesterday was a scary and frustrating day, ending in a good result. We’re most likely still getting Ezra’s tumor removed at Tampa General as the surgeons there are the best in the area, but I will be requesting we move to either ICU or a room immediately after for recovery rather than deal with those surgery floor nurses. Competence with the equipment is a must in my book. 😉
We are tentatively scheduled to begin his next round of chemo this Monday (meaning we’ll be admitted for a week or so back at St Joes), although the infusion people there are thinking that will probably be rescheduled to Thursday of next week if his platelets are still low on Monday.