08 March, 2011

Rough Day

Yesterday's clinic was a rough one.  It started off easy enough.  Here, Robert is making his mom a St. Patricks door hanger.  I mean, what would St. Pats be without door hangers, right?


We got through the preliminary bloodwork, had his port accessed, visited with the doctor, and moved to the transfusion area to kill about 8 hours while getting chemo and a blood transfusion.


 His platelets were getting low, but not low enough to normally justify a transfusion. However when the needle was removed from the port in his chest, Robert started to bleed quite heavily.  The nurse had only a few 1x1 gauze bandages and a bandaid, anticipating the usual drop or two of blood.  He soaked those in less than a second as I dashed to grab the only thing I could find which was a fistful of the same little bandages.  I held pressure with those while the nurse went to get some larger gauze to make a pressure bandage.  She built a pressure badage out of 4x4 gauze and tegaderm which I thought would do the job.  Within a minute the tegaderm was full of blood and leaking.  After trying a few first aid type quick-clot products, one of the nurses showed up with a bag of platelets from the blood bank.  They re-accessed the port, pumped in the platelets, and held a dressing on top.  It was as if a switch had been flipped, the blood stopped within minutes.  After about 30 minutes the platelet transfusion was done, and we gave them about a half an hour before again removing the catheter.  This time, only one drop of blood.    I got him cleaned up, changed his clothes, and headed for the ranch.  There has been no more trouble, and I expect none.  Fresh blood, and a new batch of platelets makes for a happy boy, and Dad.  I have had other people's blood on me several times, and I normally have no issue with it.  However seeing your childs' blood all over your hands and arms, and his chest and stomach is a different story.  He was absolutely terrified.  It didn't bother me to the point of not being able to help, it just mad me a bit emotional.  Which of course, I hid expertly.