Hummm. Yes, get involved. Recently when I was in-center my catheter lumin (sp?) connector was broken by the technician when he jammed it onto the dialysis lines. Uh oh…
I knew from when I lived in Philly that a catheter could be fixed, so the trip to the emergency room wasn’t alarming. I sat, and waited…and waited, finally after they called my doctor, the interventional radiologist on call (who wasn’t IN the hospital, and had NO plans for coming to the hospital), I was told that the hospital did not have the kits to fix my catheter, therefore I would need to be admitted and have a new catheter placed the next day. When I asked for clarification on whether it was they didn’t CARRY the kits, or that the manufacturer didn’t make the kits, I was told by the hospital ER staff they didn’t know why they didn’t have them, but may be possibly tomorrow the IR doc who would be in the hospital tomorrow (Saturday) would have some in the radiology department .
SO I was admitted, after my nephrologist spoke to me for apx. 15 minutes convincing me to stay.
During the next 24 hours my catheter was OPEN at the end except for the clamp, and the flimsy piece of gauze that was taped over the end. Ok, yes it was somewhat closed, but I have been prone to infections so I was really nervous and requested a sissor clamp to place on it also.
When I was taken to IR, I asked the doc again. Did the hospital not carry the repair kit for this type of catheter or was it that the hospital didn’t carry them. He stated again and again (after I repeated the question different ways) that the hospital didn’t carry them. Finally he said, “I don’t need to be treated this way.” He didn’t need to be treated that way, I was simply asking him a question. Then he asked me if I wanted to have the procedure or not. I told him that I would prefer to have the 15 minute repair. I was stuck, I live alone. I have no family within 8 hours of me, and I am relatively new to my area so I don’t have a close friend to drive me to different hospitals (or the time to waste)
I ended up having the catheter switched over a wire, and released that saturday evening.
Saturday evening, still groggy from the twlight sleep, I researched the manufacturer of my catheter, and emailed their customer service department. Monday morning I found out that a repair kit is made by the manufacturer. I promptly called the patient relations department and explained my frustration. The specialist said she would research the issue and get back to me.
When she returned my inquiry she stated that the hospital has a policy to NOT carry the catheters, and that when a situation arises where a catheter needs to be fixed, they will ORDER the kit (does this make sense?) and that the policy was based on COST factors (ok, I recently heard that they cannot (do not?) charge to FIX a catheter, but they CAN charge to replace one.
I was so upset, still am. This catheter was inserted at their hospital, they should carry the repair kits. I am going to see if I can ask my doctor to write a prescription for a repair kit so I can carry it with me when traveling, or back in-center.
I really feel this hospital is more worried about their bottom line, then providing good service. Not to mention, not caring about the pain they put me through needlessly.
I have 31 years dealing with the medical system for various issues. My CKD was caused by an experimental medical procedure that was not adequately followed up by the doctor.
Trust in the healthcare system. Not me.