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Sunday, November 22, 2015

So We Are Putting a Big Scary Needle In You

I recently had a bad infection and one of the ways to keep people afloat when that happens is to give them a lot of fluid.  Their blood pressure can be very low, and part of that might relate to what the infection is doing, and part of it is because they are dehydrated.  In any case, the prioritu to to keep blood flowing to all the vital organs and keep the kidneys working.
I had such a fluid resuscitation and was left with a lot of extra fluid in my abdomen which did not seem to want to go anywhere and was causing me a lot of discomfort.  The solution?  Put a needle in and take it out, a procedure called abdominal paracentesis.
Simple enough.  I was assured this would be no big deal, but when one thinks about big scary needles sometimes additional reassurance is indicated.  I had a very good experience for my paracentesis, in part of course because it was successful and painless, but I think part of that is being well informed and prepared for what is going to happen and what it will feel like.  The technologist and the physician both explained to me in plain language what the procedure would entail, the sensations that I would have, and just how much time it would all take.  It was easier than getting an IV in some senses because of all the care that was taken in getting me ready, both in my head and in my body.

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