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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Ischemic Heart Disease

Question: PICC line and death?

 tonarimmer - Wed May 11, 2005 5:09 pm

My mom had a pacemaker inserted in January 11, 2005. After she was released, she developed a fever 3 days post op. They kept her in the hospital for a week. Upon her fever dimishing by the 6th day they decided to place a PICC line in. When they inserted it, it took 3 tries for it to go in. She was in so much pain then they discharged her that day. Home health couldnt come to visit her so they showed me in the hospital how to do the SASH method. I did it for 3 days and on the 4th day, I did that method as usual. That afternoon she passed away. They said she died of cardiac/pulmonary arrest and one doctor said it was a blood clot in the lung. Is any of this possible? Did I cause my mothers death? Please help!

Tona Rimmer
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu May 12, 2005 2:42 am

User avatar Hi tonarimmer,
I would like to first say I am sorry about your mom. Please be assured that you are not responsible for your mother's death. The SASH method, (saline, antibiotic, saline, heparin) is the standard protocol for PICC line care as with most of the special types of IV catheters. There are numerous reasons for the development of blood clots. Blood clots may develop in the legs of people whom are quite ill, bedridden for a period of time, (stagnates blood flow) and have recently undergone a major surgery etc. These clots break loose travel to the lung, and often cause respiratory failure.
Although the chances are increased for a blood clot to form in the arms of people who have recently had special IV catheters placed because of the irritation to the veins wall, I would attribute her incidence to being ill, and recently undergoing a surgical procedure, not you using the SASH method protocol for the PICC line care.
It sounds as though your mom had been quite ill, again please be assured it's not your fault. May you have an abundance of blessings for taking the time in caring for your mom.
 tonarimmer - Thu May 12, 2005 5:25 am

Thanks so much for responding. I have been feeling guilty over this. She was only 54 years old. My brother was killed 44 days prior to death in a hospital electrical explosion in Florida. I know she was miserable over that situation. I just feel that if she didnt have this PICC line she MAY be here today. I told her she wasnt gonna die when she had her pacemaker put in, in fact, I pushed her for to have it implanted. I know there are always risks with surgery but I never saw this one coming. I am just trying to learn as much as I can because family history is very strong in our tree and I don't my kids to have to go through this at her age. Also, because I am a nursing student. Thanks for listening and responding, I so appreciate! Have a wonderful day.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu May 12, 2005 5:36 am

User avatar Hi tonarimmer,
It seems as though you have experienced more than a very difficult time..... We don't always understand the why's, what if's, that happen. You can second guess matters until your "blue in the face", so to speak and it will not solve the questions nor will it change the outcome. I believe things happen for a reason and we may not understand them or agree with them especially when loved one's are involved. Our, albeit, selfishness, would keep loved ones here forever, and that's just impossible. You change the things you can, the rest you learn to not worry about, and placing blame when events occur that are out of your control does much more harm than good.Take care and good luck with your studies :)

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