My sister's boyfriend had a hernia repair on Monday at a hospital in another state. When they opened him up, they found a mass the size of a lemon and everyone thought the worst. Even the surgeon thought that the mass was cancerous by eyeing it and cutting into it to obtain a biopsy. Fortunately, the biopsy came back negative today. Great news!
My sister then proceeds to tell me that although relieved that he doesn't have cancer, he has a fever of 102.3 degrees, a severe headache and is vomiting. She said they don't know why. She then proceeded to tell me that he was going to be discharged tomorrow. I told her my thoughts on what was going on, but said don't let them discharge him in that condition. She appreciated my input and would make sure that they address his current state before discharge.
The reason for blogging about this situation is that all too often in health care we follow a checklist and once a task is complete, we check it off the list. We need to treat the patient in his or her entirety. I heard a great line today that is very appropriate in this instance, we need to make sure that we don't confuse activity with achievement; a great lesson for all of us.