I had to go to the surgery today to have the practice nurse put a fresh dressing over the Hickman line where it enters my chest. I know this wont be a reflection on all practice nurses, but honestly, I could have done a better job myself. Funnily enough the hospital said I couldn’t do it myself, as it is a Hickman line, which should be dressed by a nurse. I’ve packed my own open wounds before and I could have easily done this, but did as I was told.
The hospital gave me a dressing and a solution applicator called Chloraprep. ChloraPrep does two things apparently;
- IPA rapidly kills microorganisms by denaturing cell proteins
- CHG maintains persistent antimicrobial activity by disrupting the cell membrane and precipitating cell contents.
The nurse told me she had never seen one before and didn’t know how to use it (it’s not hard, but I wasn’t 100% sure at the time that was the right way to do things, so kept my mouth shut). So she just dipped it in some saline and gave it a quick wipe over. Saline is just a sterile solution which doesn’t actually kill anything as far as I know. I assume Chloraprep is used to make sure no infections develop around the entry site. Worse she didn’t clean the whole area the dressing covers so there are still bits of crap from the last dressing on my skin. She gave it a quick wipe over, said that would do until I went back into hospital and slapped the dressing on. Good job! She didn’t seem keen on doing much to it. Maybe she was nervous of doing some damage to the entry site or something. I don’t know. If I had any sterile kits (had several after having to pack an operation wound that wouldn’t heal) I would have done it again myself when I got home. Doing that kind of thing doesn’t worry me at all.
Always seems to me that once you have been referred to the hospital some doctors and nurses in surgeries are not too keen on doing much so long as you under the hospitals care, which is a great help… (and before my brother calls to moan about this, I know there some damn good practice/community nurses out there)
Other than that, things are not too bad. Enjoying being at home, although I am totally shattered all the time, but that’s the only thing I’m suffering from at the moment, so could be worse.