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Re: [IPk] Pumping in Hospital

Hi Susan,
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I had a similar one when I had my
daughter by C-section. I wasn't on a pump then but was supposed to be
controlled by two drips and a sliding scale like you. I had no idea what
this meant at the time and assumed that as I was having an operation that
the doctors and nurses would take care of everything and I could relax. No
such luck - the drip was started 2 hours late and as in your case the
insulin drip was put in but not the glucose drip so that my blood sugar
plummeted. I tried to protest that I shouldn't just have an insulin drip in
but was ignored. By the time I was wheeled into the theatre it was too low
and I was wheeled out again (very distressed by this point) given milk and
made to wait another three hours until a theatre slot was available and my
bg had risen.  Throughout the operation I had to keep reminding staff that I
should test my bg (yes I had to test it myself whilst under epidural and
spinal block).

Add to this the incompetence of the staff in helping me to breastfeed ( I
failed) and their completely ignoring my diabetes after the birth and having
to live on toast and milk from the tea machine to reverse all the hypos I
was having it wasn't an altogether good experience of hospital care and

It was a shame really because the antenatal care I received was superb,  I
felt very well looked after by 2 great consultants who saw me once a week at

Anyway Susan, I hope things are better for you now. Would you feel justified
in writing a letter of complaint to the hospital?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Susan Morrow" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 4:41 PM
Subject: [IPk] Pumping in Hospital

> Hi
> I had the unfortunate experience of being admitted to hospital last week 2
> weeks after giving birth due to a complcation arising after child birth. I
> to have a general anaesthetic so had to fast overnight. I was allowed to
> using my pump until 7am on the day of the operation after which I was
> to an insulin and dextrose drip using actrapid and a sliding scale.
> Initially, I was quite happy with this as this is the standard protocol
> treating diabetics who require anaesthetics. However, I was not allowed
> on to my pump until the following morning in case I felt sick and couldn't
> eat. At the time I agreed to this as I was in a lot of pain and was pretty
> much out of it after the anaesthetic and morphine. However, I was shocked
> the lack of knowledge shown by the nursing and medical staff. The dextrose
> drip only lasted for 4 hours and each time it ran out it took up to 45
> for someone to change the bag. During this time an alarm was sounding
> continually and I was still receiving insulin. This, on top of hourly BM
> tests, was bad enough during the day but when it occured during the night
> was awful. I tried to explain the consequences of just receiving insulin
> no dextrose to the nurses but they kept telling me not to get anxious! Of
> course on each occassion I went hypo about 1-2 hours later and they then
> to reduce the insulin dose and give me lucozade. Then 1-2 hours later
> what, I would have a high BM so the insulin dose would be put up. I was
> absolutely fed up with this and the hourly BM tests and by 3am I was ready
> burst with anger. Apart from the fact that I was getting no sleep, my baby
> being disturbed every hour and was extremely unsettled. As I was attached
> the drips I couldn't even manage to life her out of the cot so it was very
> distressing.
> Eventually, I lost my patience and went mad  insisting that they take the
> drips down and let me put my pump back on but of course they wouldn't and
> had to put up with it until after breakfast.
> What really annoys me is that during all of this no one really trusted my
> judgement. I am sure that I have lots more knowledge of diabetes than most
> the staff in the hospital yet they insisted that they had to follow the
> protocol
> I am terrified in case I have to go into hospital again as I don't want to
> have a repeat experience. Has any other pump user had an anesthetic and if
> how was your diabetes treated in hospital? I would really appreciate any
> advice.
> Thanks
> Susan
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