Connie Sherwood, CN from UC San Diego Medical Center discusses how patients get their life back post PTE surgery.
My name is Connie Sherwood, and I work at UCSD Medical Center on the fourth floor.
So, we see PTE patients prior to surgery and then after they move to ICU, so we kind of have an opportunity to get to know our patients a little bit, and it’s sort of an exciting process, because we get to see them beforehand. Oftentimes, they’re walking in sick, on oxygen. Their lives have been altered for such a long time. It took a long time to get diagnosed.
So probably, it’s one of the most exciting surgeries that I see. We see a lot of heart surgeries, but this one is curative. So, we get to see the patients’ lives back, because patients feel like they’re getting their lives back. A lot of them have spent time gradually losing quality of life, and so they may not have it right away after surgery, because they’re still healing. But the quality of life already begins from the time they start rehabbing on our floor. So, by the time they leave, oftentimes, there’s no oxygen. And they’re walking the floors, tiring the nurses out with how many laps they can do, whereas when they came in, some of them come in in a wheelchair, because they can’t walk from the parking lot to the floor. So, it’s definitely exciting to see.
We have patients from all over the world, so it’s exciting to get to see even different cultures and how the disease has affected them throughout the span of it, too. A lot of times, they don’t even know why they have it. A lot of times, it’s taken so long to diagnose, maybe they’ve been told they’ve had asthma for years and tried inhalers, tried many different treatments, which none work, because it’s not going to reach the disease that’s happening in the lungs.
The clots that sometimes will start with a deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism that becomes chronic and gradually alters their life. So, when they come into our…