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To think that four hours was too long

(89 Posts)
pamplem0usse Sat 09-Feb-13 23:49:24

My 4.5 mo DS needed a medical procedure on fri that required a cannula.
Four doctors attempted for two hours before calling an aneasthetist to have a go. He tried for another hour and a half and failed. There are at least fourteen puncture wounds in his neck alone, each representing several attempts.
I eventually called a halt to it as he'd not been allowed milk for five hours and the procedure would have taken another hour. He wasn't given any form of aneasthetic. They want me to go in for another try next week. would i be being unreasonable to insist we have it done elsewhere?

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 10-Feb-13 06:43:35

If it was an emergency eg - the baby had arrested - there are other methods that can be used in those situations.

Booboostoo Sun 10-Feb-13 06:43:59

I am so shocked at your post! DD had a cannula inserted at 16 months by the paeds nurses and they knew it was going to be difficult (A&E nurse had tried and failed to take blood the day before). The nurse tried twice and called the more senior nurse immediately who got it done fairly quickly. The whole thing took half an hour and DD had to be held down (no other option) but the nurses were very understanding, talking to her in a soothing voice, trying toys, etc. and I was there trying (and failing unfortunately) to keep her calm.

I thought the whole experience was a horrible nightmare so I can't even imagine what it must have been like for your DS and you! Do complain and see if you can get them to plan ahead next time. The length of time they took is totally unacceptable!

pamplem0usse Sun 10-Feb-13 06:47:11

he needed a scan of a part of his digestive system as hes had chronic diarreah for ten weeks and blood in his stools.
We asked about time limits next time and they just said it was down to the individual doctors tolerance (i.e. no mention of ny baby) :-(

Isityouorme Sun 10-Feb-13 07:09:34

It is for reasons like this that I would never let a junior doctor touch my child. Poor thing, and you. Sadly I have been there too, but not anywhere near as bad, and it is heartbreaking to do.

Next time ask for a senior doctor first.

flow4 Sun 10-Feb-13 07:24:18

Oh pamp, that sounds totally appalling - as if they forgot he was human, not an object or 'challenge'. :-(

That would have been too much for an adult, let alone a child. But an adult would have stopped it much, much, much sooner. My veins are hard to find, and when I was a young teen, a junior doc once had 4 attempts before a nurse stopped him. Now I'm an adult, anyone taking blood gets ONE go, maybe two if they're especially nice - then if they don't succeed, I ask for someone else.

I would definitely go elsewhere, if you can. Insist they stick to 'two tries' rule. And ask for him to be sedated if they don't succeed immediately.

I had to pin down & repeatedly kiss my sobbing 8 week old whilst they butchered tried to put a cannula in him. I stopped them after 8 attempts. H was screaming at me & looking at me that way.

I was so cross, I was only there with him because --fucking stupid--HV had bullied gp into referring us for prolonged jaundice.

All other tests showed no worry, very slight jaundice, only visible in whites of eyes. They wanted me to bring him back for another go 2 weeks later & I refused. Was lectured by paed nurse, who I reported, spoke to paed consultant who said he wouldn't want cannula in anyway.

I made a complaint. DS is now 10 months old & I've heard nothing despite chasing it twice.

Speak to someone to make absolutely sure that the procedure is necessary.

I hope he's on.

InTheNightGarden Sun 10-Feb-13 07:27:55

I had an experience just like this!!! My dd has duplex kidney and required a full day of different tests at bristols children's hosp (she was 5 months)

For one of the scans she needed radioactive fluid in her blood stream, they attempted god knows how many times in her hands and feets, and to start with without me knowing it was student trying to do it!! They only stopped when I burst into tears! We went back the following week where I was told "it doesn't matter she won't remember any of this" I was appalled by this, they then did however manage to put a cannulla in her head!! Was awful.

My dd is now 22months and since that ordeal every hosp appointment we attend starts with tears at the hosp door...I'm certain she does remember! Unless you feel the tests are absolutely essential I wouldn't bother, what the hosp failed to tell me was that the tests could of waited till dd was 3!

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 07:42:33

A phlebotomist might have been a better bet they spend all day poking veins.

pamplem0usse Sun 10-Feb-13 07:44:41

hmm goodnees knows what theyre planning next if the ansesthetist couldnt manage :-( plebotamist has never managed to get a cannula in for blood tests either. they just repeatedly heel prick and drip blood into vial

yellowsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 07:59:25

It took 9 doctors and nurses to pin my son down to get his pre op blood he wad just 3 at the time we had been in hospital all day ans they has left it till 10pm he had been asleep for 4 hours if it wasn't vital I would have swung some punches most of the doctors came out of the room with my sons blood all over them
His consultant went mad and made sure after surgery every single one of the doctors and nurses came to apologise to him (a little 3 yr old) most brought a little present

yellowsheep Sun 10-Feb-13 08:01:39

Thankfully we are done with his treatment ans he only has yearly tests now but he has no problem about going for a blood test and still remembers the naughty doctors saying sorry they hurt him

I think you would be well within your rights to ask for the anaesthetist in the first instance, particularly since that would mean s/hehe would still have the easier veins available to him/her.

Poor baby, and poor you. Hope you get a solution soon.

Sirzy Sun 10-Feb-13 08:20:36

That's awful. When DS was 8 weeks old the doctor struggled with one of his cannulas (was in his foot at this stage) so stopped after 2 attempts and found someone senior to do it who did it first time.

No way should they be prodding and poking for that long. Do you have a children's hospital easily accessible from where you live? Could you be reffered there?

GirlOutNumbered Sun 10-Feb-13 08:22:53

It took a nurse six goes with a heel prick test when my ds2 was 6 weeks old and then tried with a cannula.. Then I had a call saying the blood was useless and could I go in again.
I did and refused to let a nurse do it. A doctor came and inserted the cannula firt time.

HollyBerryBush Sun 10-Feb-13 08:22:56

hes had chronic diarreah for ten weeks and blood in his stools.

I'd call that pretty serious at 4 months.

EasilyBored Sun 10-Feb-13 08:32:25

That is horrific. Please speak to PALS, no one should have to go through that. DS had to have loads of blood taken at three days old because of jaundice and I thought that was hellish, and everyone (bar one idiot a and e Dr) was so kind andapologetic about having to hurt him.

When he goes in again, set a limit before they start, two attempts before they have to get a senior and only x attempts total. Try not to let them pressure you. Poor baby and poor you!

ledkr Sun 10-Feb-13 08:33:44

I had a very poorly ds years ago and he had many many procedures. I became very good at gauging what was acceptable and speaking up for my babies.
Dd had pneumonia at 6 days and a junior dr was trying to put a cannula in for a while (maybe 15 mins) I then told her to leave it whilst I fed her and calmed her down. I had to be very assertive.
Half an hour later a senior sho came and put one in in seconds.
Don't feel bad now but in future remember unless its an emergency you can call a hault when you think it's enough.
You won't get a vein in a distressed dehydrated child either as the veins contract.
I have noticed over the years that some medics think they can do what they like to a child that can't refuse.
Definitely complain as well.

dikkertjedap Sun 10-Feb-13 08:34:09

Poor you and poor little ds. Especially horrific for you as you will keep remembering this, whilst your ds will forget it.

It does sound though that he really needs to be checked out. Was this a children's hospital or ordinary hospital? If the latter, I would insist on a referral to a children's hospital.

Once, you go in again I would explain clearly what happened last time and ask them for their plan and personally I would insist on their most experienced person available (i.e. no junior doctors).

Unfortunately, junior doctors are still learning and some don't know when to stop and are not told when to stop by their supervisor either. I am afraid I have been there with my dc, it is horrific.

I feel for you, many many years later I can still remember several incidents as they happened yesterday - I think it stays with you for life.

jjuice Sun 10-Feb-13 08:37:58

When I needed a blood transfusion the dr and registrar tried for about an hour..in the end it was a nurse that did it first attempt. Apparently because she does it way more often than a dr needs to.

My ds had mucus diarrhea when he was tiny and blood once. They never found out why. Detective jjuice did though. Milk intolerance! !

cyanarasamba Sun 10-Feb-13 08:41:35

That's awful, I'm so sorry you had to go through that, and that it's not yet over for you.

My DD had regular cannulations in her first year, and went through a very difficult chubby/ poor veins phase. A German doctor suggested using a vein on her scalp - apparently this is routine through much of Europe for babies under a year. I was initially revolted by the idea but we went ahead, it was very easy and the line was kept out of her way during treatment. They went in on the side of her head a few inches above her ear.

Might be worth mentioning when you return to the hospital if this hasn't already been considered?

QueenoftheHolly Sun 10-Feb-13 08:43:17

Poor you and poor little baby!
I hate it when male egotistical medical staff kind of bully mothers into things for their children by somehow implying that you're being a weak/soft mother who doesn't have best interests of the child at heart.

In a similar way I ended up having my epidural re sighted a couple if times after it completely failed during hormone induced horrific contractions.
The midwives were luckily really firm with the anaesthetist at the time & made him wait for the (few second!) gaps before doing anything. I remember one saying "she is in pain" & he said "yes but she's been saying that for ages now " shock
I felt guilty at the time but now feel cross about whole situ.

It all seems to link with the problem of certain hospital staff lacking basic kindness & humanity - to get a bunch of such people at once as you did seems shocking & even more so when it concerns a baby. Definitely go somewhere else if you possibly can.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 10-Feb-13 08:46:53

That's awful, and I'm saying that as a nurse. We allow three attempts then find someone else. Trying for four hours is ridiculous. I would not allow this to happen again.

Babies are difficult to cannulate due to their chub, it's true. The anaesthetist is usually a last resort. Phlebotomists don't exist for children but some hospitals do have assistants trained in cannulation & bloods, which is similar.

If you go in again I would refuse anyone junior go near him and want a plan if it fails. Did they use magic cream?

pamplem0usse Sun 10-Feb-13 11:21:27

For those who are interested in the medical background:
DS definitely has a milk and soy allergy. He's exclusively BF and these have been included, but despite other attempts at exclusions / a very many tests these symptoms persist. He's been tested for infections and various other things but we're drawing a blank.
Finally (on Monday) they suggested this procedure. One of the Drs suggested after the 4 hour trauma on Friday that it might be unnecessary, another said that for symptomatic individuals if it is the thing they're testing for then it has a mortality rate of 15% so needs doing urgently. This isn't a children's hospital. I'm thoroughly at the end of my tether :-( My older child is in nursery two days a week and I spend those days going between medical appoints to avoid dragging her along on the other days.
I had to leave the room on Friday to vomit it was so awful, and think they would have carried on trying indefinitely had I not said no. Then the consultant got cross with me because I was standing to change my DS's nappy on the cot and as I was finishing he told me quite severely to sit down. I said I was just finishing off and he said 'well what do you expect me to do then, stand?'. I have no confidence in this hospital, they've previously spent 1.5 hours dripping blood to fill vials from heel pricks taken from my son because a Registrar insisted 'he could do it' even when I'd explained many others had failed. The blood ended up clotted so I had to go in for a repeat anyway.
All my instincts say to insist on them speeding up the Great Ormand Street referral I was promised but I know it's just going to be another battle. And my HV was supposed to be providing ongoing support but she's forgotten to phone the last two weeks.

lotsofcheese Sun 10-Feb-13 11:28:49

What an awful experience for you & your DS.

In these circumstances, I'd be asking my GP to refer me to a tertiary centre/specialist children's hospital.

I hope you can get something sorted

FutTheShuckUp Sun 10-Feb-13 11:29:02

Magic cream is all good and well but that can cause the veins to effectively collapse and make cannulation nigh on impossible. Poor little man

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