What a bloody night!

Just when I thought everything was going well, last night happens.

I awoke with a start when the dialysis machine gave an alarm. Instinctively I pressed the Mute button. I thought it was morning and the session was done and the machine was signalling completion of the session. I switched on the light and woke Jayaram up. As I was getting ready to get up and close treatment, I suddenly noticed that there was blood oozing out of my arterial site. The blood was trickling out quite fast from both sides and the arterial needle was half out. The tapes had become loose.

Jayaram tried to put the needle back in but it came out completely in the process. He then took the needle and was about to insert it back in. I asked him what he was doing? He said he was cannulating. It was then that I realized that it was only 3:30 in the morning and the machine alarmed to signal that something went wrong and not that the session was completed.

I also realized to my utter horror that almost half my T shirt was soaked wet with blood. So was a part of the bed sheet. Jayaram then inserted the needle back and taped it securely. Dialysis resumed.

I was very upset but managed to go back to sleep.

When the session actually completed, I realized the amount of blood I had lost. The leak probably went on for about 15 to 20 minutes at least (maybe more) because the left side of my T shirt was wet with blood and so was a part of the bed sheet. I changed into a another T shirt and threw the wet T shirt and the bed sheet.

I am totally at a loss as to why the needle came out in the first place. No new tape was used. The taping method was the same I've been using for years now. My hand was tied just as every day to prevent excessive movement.

I thanked my stars that Jayaram was there. I have no idea what I would have done if he wasn't there. And Sunday nights I have been dialysing without Jayaram around.

This kind of a thing can happen on nocturnal. The question is handling the situation in a proper manner. Training is the key. Which I haven't had. And probably may never have. Training specific to patients dialyzing alone at night. Many countries have it. The US does, Australia, New Zealand, Even Hong Kong and other countries in South East Asia. Dubai does too. Why can't India have it? Why?


SCDAFF said…
hhhmm really concerned after looking at this, want to talk to u but its too late
Shan Chelliah said…
I can imagine how traumatic the whole incident would have been for you, especially the bloody t-shirt part. I'm sure you've already started to think of a way to prevent this in future. Maybe, use a lightly bound tourniquet to secure the needles in place?
Kamal D Shah said…
Sri, I am ok now.

Shan, that is actually a good idea. But instead of a tourniquet, I am thinking I should put another plaster around the two plasters I currently use.
Anonymous said…
please be carefull dude
Miriam said…
Kamal, that must have been very scary. Perhaps you were sweaty and that loosened the tape adherence.

From your description it sounded like your assistant re-inserted a contaminated needle into your arm. Once a needle comes out it is no longer sterile. Be careful, you don't want to get an infection.

You might consider getting a blood leak detector to put under your arm. These are usually used for kids who wet the bed but are also used by nocturnal dialyzors in the US to detect moisture that would come from blood leaking out of the needles.

Wishing you well always,
Kamal D Shah said…
Yes Miriam, it was scary. I have abed wetting alarm and wasn't using it. I have started using it since this incident.

Thanks so much for the wishes!
Anandam said…
I wonder why they don't have different alarm sounds for different levels of seriousness. Or do they? It seems like a simple firmware feature in your machine.

Take care, Kamal!
Kamal D Shah said…
They do have two different sounds for two different kinds of alarms. Any alarm deserves attention. It could be due to anything. So having different sounds for different alarms defeats the purpose, I guess.

Btw is this Anandam, the one from HPS?