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Broken IV catheter

Discussion in 'Did That Just Happen?' started by Outbac1, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Outbac1

    Outbac1 Forum Asst. Chief

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    While doing a clinical shift in the ER the other day, a nurse brought down a pt with an IV catheter broken off in his vein. Apparently as she was removing the needle part, the end (where you attach the line), broke off. This of course left the cath part free to travel in the vein. She immediatly put the tourniquet back on the pts arm And brought them to the ER. There we called the surgeon on call who came right away. A quick x-ray was taken and the surgeon cut into the pts arm (forearm proximal to the wrist), clamped and cut the vein and retrieved the catheter. Then stitched the pts arm back together.

    Has anyone ever heard of this happening before? I know when you think of it, it is possible. But how often does it really happen?
     
  2. medic417

    medic417 The Truth Provider

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    Actually it is part of the education in proper IV techniques. You can shear part of the cath if you remove the needle and then reinsert. This leads to it traveling in the vein and could act as a clot that has broken loose and traveled to the lungs and we all know what can happen when that occurs. I do not have figures in front of me as to number of times.

    Thankfully this nurse was quick thinking.
     
  3. imurphy

    imurphy Forum Captain

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    And leads to a lawsuit I'd imagine!
     
  4. medicdan

    medicdan Forum Deputy Chief Premium Member

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    I recall it on one of the first episodes of Emergency!...

    </whacker>
     
  5. AJ Hidell

    AJ Hidell Forum Deputy Chief

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    I don't think this is common catheter shear that we're talking about here. Sounds more like an extremely rare failure of the device, resulting in the hub separating from the catheter. I have never seen or heard of it in thirty-six years of practice. Unless the device was somehow abused (crushed in shipping or storage, etc...), it sounds like it's going to come back to a faulty device.
     
  6. Outbac1

    Outbac1 Forum Asst. Chief

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    To the best of my knowledge it wasn't a reinsertion problem. We believe it was a hub failure. I think they have both pieces. What they will do with them,I do not know. Since no one there had ever dealt with a failure like that before the pt seemed to accept it. The pt wasn't terribly put out by it. We'll have to wait and see if there is a lawsuit over it.

    Hopefully just a rare occurance although it can happen.
     
  7. boingo

    boingo Forum Asst. Chief

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    We had 3 catheters detach from the hub in a one week period last summer. Recalled the lot#. There was no catheter shear, just a manufacturing snafoo. None of the catheters required invasive procedure to remove, all were able to be removed with hemostats at the insertion site. Its not common but can happen.
     
  8. Kjc1216

    Kjc1216 Forum Ride Along

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    I don't care how long that lady has been a nurse....I personally have had 2 broken iv catheters left/ broke off in my hand and arm. The first time was 20 years ago. A General surgeon had to remove it 2 weeks AFTER I left the hospital, when my arm become so painful to the touch I couldn't stand it anymore. The second time was a week ago. Again, I came home from the hospital and discovered it my self. This time it was in my hand so it was really easy to see.
    So no matter what anyone says, this can and does happen. I have the scars to prove it!
     
  9. Flying

    Flying Mostly Ignorant

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    If you had bothered to read this old thread you would have seen that the original problem has little to do with the nurse and more to do with the manufacturer of the catheter.
     
  10. Summit

    Summit Critical Crap

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    Old thread.
    Quick thinking by the nurse with the tourniquet!
     
  11. Chris PV

    Chris PV Forum Ride Along

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    Old thread or not -- this writer needed that information, on what it feels like on the patient's end, as one of my story characters pulls the old "yank the IV out"...and I wanted to have realistic consequences, instead of the usual fictional nonsense. All the other Google finds were medical docs on "what to do if it happens". I just joined to say "thank you!"
     
  12. COmedic17

    COmedic17 Forum Asst. Chief

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    What?
     
    SandpitMedic likes this.
  13. Llm

    Llm Forum Ride Along

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    Ok, I'm a little freaked out right now! I just got taken by ambulance to my local er. With chest pains and difficulty breathing blood work fine. Chest xray show something so done a ct scan showed I had a iv catheter in my lung I've never had a major iv like a pick line just from bend of my arm to my wrist. They also looked back on a ct scan from 6 months ago and it was there and I was never told.. they shot my full of steroids to help me breath gave e
    Breathing treatment and sent me home!
     
  14. ERDoc

    ERDoc Forum Asst. Chief

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    Really? First, how do they know it is an IV catheter? Foreign objects are difficult to identify on imaging, especially when they are someone radiolucent like an IV catheter. Second, they sent you home, knowing you had a foreign body in your lung? Third, grammar and punctuation are your friends, make your story easier to follow and give you more credibility, especially when you have an incredible story.
     
  15. Llm

    Llm Forum Ride Along

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    [​IMG]
    1471856261735.jpg Maybe this will give my story more credibility ERDoc
     
  16. ERDoc

    ERDoc Forum Asst. Chief

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    Actually, yes it does but I suspect there is more to the story. Peripheral catheters do break once in a while, it doesn't have to be a central line. It says possible catheter, in other words, they don't know exactly what it is. I hope you are feeling better and I'd be curious to hear what they say when you follow up.
     
  17. Llm

    Llm Forum Ride Along

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    I go to Dr Marion hochstetler tomorrow at 1:45.
     
  18. Llm

    Llm Forum Ride Along

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    O.k. this is what has been told to me. I have 3 options. 1. Leave it there.
    2. They to go thru artery and try to get a hold of it and pull it out. Or 3. Basically open heart surgery.
    Be cause there's not than one. I have three, end to end they measure 12". And they have been able to see them in test up tho 3 years ago. I was never told.
    Southern Ohio medical center. Dr Marion Hochstetler is referring me to Cable Huntington Hospital, because they don't have the equipment or the knowledge to do this procedure.
     
  19. chaz90

    chaz90 Community Leader Community Leader

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    So what is your question? Are you asking for advice or just telling a story?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Llm

    Llm Forum Ride Along

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    UOTE="chaz90, post: 618161, member: 19157"]So what is your question? Are you asking for advice or just telling a story?
    My question is can they be the cause other health problems? Is leaving them alone dangerious?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk[/QUOTE]
    Im
     

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