Saturday, 16 April 2011

Blocked VAC

Late yesterday afternoon at 3pm, Violet's VAC dressing started alarming and saying that it had an "internal device error" therapy stopped. I rang the technical advice number for the VAC and they advised she would need a new VAC.

If the VAC has not been working due to this problem for 2 hours or more, you require the whole dressing to be changed not just the unit itself. They normally courier these out the units asap from Lane Cove but by the time I got through to one of their technicians it had already been half an hour and the courier would hit peak hour making it go over the 2 hour limit. So I suggested they courier it to Kids Hospital and I would meet them there.

On arrival, the nurses in the ward were doing handover and by then only had about 20mins before 2 hour limit was up. I was not impressed. I turned into what I like to choose to call proactive and was not at all impressed with them taking their time to do handover when they knew we were coming and the situation, and I decided to let them know about it!

Finally they put the replacement unit on and it wasn't keeping the negative pressure it needed to. Only sitting at 55 when it needed to be 125. The unit has two sections of tubing one from Violet's foot to a joiner and then one from the joiner to the unit. They replaced the tubing from the joiner to the unit. It stabilised and were waiting out the front of the hospital for Dave to pick us up and it dropped again.

So back in we went and by this time it was again alarming and the nurse really didn't want to deal with it. She even said we may have to go through emergency! Which I thought was crap, as the Burns Clinical Nurse Consultant had told me to go to the Burns & Plastics Ward if anything went wrong and they would sort it out for us. Seems wasn't the case last night. She rang emergency and had to explain to them what a VAC dressing was and they said they were unable to help and would only have to end up getting someone from that ward to attend to it anyway.

By this time it was well over 2 hours since the unit had stopped. The nurse decided she would re-dress the ulcer without the VAC and on Monday get it put back on. Then she changed her mind on opening the dressing she found a blockage of blood at the tubing near the ulcer. She changed the tubing from Violet's foot to the joiner and all was back to normal.

Back on Monday to have it re-dressed properly and I will certainly be telling the CNC that we were going to be sent through emergency for the dressing...not happy!


Alison said...

What a hassle. I'm glad everything got sorted in the end - but what a freakin' unnecessary hassle for you all.

Melissa and Luke Young said...

What a pain in the ASS!!!! So glad it is sorted.. But really it shouldnt be that much hard work for you... x

Josephine said...

I cannot believe what a nightmare this has been for you. Insanity. Here's hoping for a smooth road from now on.