There are many reported cases of negligence in the dialysis field, which have resulted in very hazardous situations. Even though dialysis seems like a fairly harmless procedure when compared to other procedures like surgeries and labor, it is still a very technical process. Moreover, the most dangerous aspect of this particular treatment is that it needs to be administered to the patient at least three times a week. When something is taking place this frequently, at one point or another one, careless mistake can easily happen. The only problem is the fact that one careless mistake can easily cost the patient his or her life.
Many reported cases of negligence have also reported patient fatalities. This is why, when you become a dialysis technician, you must always be very careful with every single thing you do. Even though the task may seem insignificant or easy, always double check what you did so that you are able to avoid any nasty repercussions of your carelessness.
What Might Happen If I Do Not Pay Attention?
There are many cases in the newspapers and on the Internet, which have reported patients dying due to the criminal negligence of their nurses, their doctors, or their dialysis technicians. One such instance was when a patient nearly died because the dialysis technician forgot to place the tube back in the patient properly. This means that when the blood of the patient was being returned to her body, the needle became dislodged and the blood began to ooze out of the tube and spilled onto the ground, instead of going back into her body.
This situation meant that the patient’s blood was being drawn out of her body from the tube, being processed through the artificial kidney machine, being cleaned by the machine and then instead of returning back into her body and completing its cycle; it was dripping out onto the ground. This meant that the patient was losing blood. At least a quarter of her blood was wasted as it dripped down onto the floor and formed a pool on the ground.
The patient was not able to call anyone for help due to the immediate weakness. She passed out and was luckily discovered by someone before she could pass away from loss of blood. This is only one small mistake which nearly cost the patient her life. Just imagine, what would a big and irreversible mistake result in?
What Not To Do
Many patients die to the hemorrhage in the dialysis procedure. Here are some of the things not to do as a dialysis technician so that you can ensure the safety of your patients at all costs. The following things are big red flags that you are supposed to avoid under all circumstances.
Do not do the following:
- Do not leave the needle in without checking if it has been inserted properly or not.
- Do not check for line separations in the tube.
- Do not forget to disinfect the dialysis machine after it has been used to clean a patient’s blood supply.
- Do not forget to sterilize the place after or before a patient has been there.
- Do not prep a patient unsuitably.
- Do not ignore what the patient wants and never be rude to them. Some patients are automatically nervous, especially when they are new to the dialysis treatment. A dialysis technician is used to the procedure so they do not understand that the concept can be frightening for some. In addition, dialysis technicians may not understand the pain and fear of the patient because they have not experienced the procedure themselves. In that case, being ignorant of the patients’ worries will only make matters worse.
- Never ignore the demands of the patient. If a patient wants things to be done a certain way it is not wise to be rude to them. If their demands are a little impossible or farfetched, you can explain it to them in the politest manner possible. If they still do not understand, then fetch the manager or a doctor to explain why their demand cannot be fulfilled. Do not disregard the patients’ demands just because you cannot fulfill them.
- Do not tell a patient you are nervous about treating them. They are probably on edge themselves and it does not help that the person handling the procedure is not sure about his or her capabilities. Always be sure to appear confident in front of the patient.
- Do not waste time documenting vague and ambiguous patient data instead of precise numbers.
- Do not be left unaware of the patients’ history.