Friday, August 28, 2009

Line infection

When I had my Hickman line flushed on Wednesday I became aware that the tunnel line was a bit inflamed with a small patch of redness around the insertion site. I watched it carefully and by 10 in the evening the red patch was rather larger. I went into the hospital and they swabbed the area and started me on flucloxacillin.

By Thursday morning the red area was three times as large and the entry site was oozing pus. I phoned my oncologist and we decided it was time to take the line out. I phoned the radiologist who inserted it and he kindly agreed to remove it at 4 pm yesterday. It took some getting out as the inflammation had welded it in, but it eventually came out and this morning it is much less painful and inflamed.

All done on the NHS and didn't cost me a penny!


Burke said...

Gosh, doc, you mean you don't have to pay taxes to support the NHS? That IS quite a system.

BTW, I ran across this British perspective on the health care debate by someone who shares my philosophy, and I wonder what you think of it:

Randy Shannon said...

Dr Hamblin,

I am glad you were able to relieve your pain so quickly. All for "free".

You may have heard there is a controversy here in the states with a government option to be offered to all. It has caused quite a commotion. Unfortunately, many in the press feel that it is simply about the health care issue... and not the lack of transparency, enabling more entitlement instead of self sufficiency, and the rush to have a bill passed that many had not read.

We do need to have a benevolent government-one that reaches out to people in a time of need. It would be in everyone’s benefit if all would be inspired to excel on their own- and not depend upon the country to provide all. Most importantly, the person who is moving up.

We do need health care reform. We just need to be sure we are responsible in obtaining it.

Neither Republican nor Democrat seem to get that.

“We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

God Bless

Terry Hamblin said...

Now Burke, that's naughty. You know very well that I meant it didn't cost me at the point of contact. I have paid for it in my taxes, of course, but not as much as you have paid for everybocy else's medicare, medicaid, VA etc.


America's health care is broken, but how to mend it is very difficult given the opposing pressure groups.

Anonymous said...

I guess fairy dust and magic beans pay the doctor's salary and build hospitals and create the tools used to remove the line!

Of course, the NHS is paid for by taxes. And care is rationed by the government.

I remember reading one story about the NHS. A child cut his finger off. In a panic, the parents drove him and his severed finger to the emergency room. They were much too busy to reattach the finger, of course, but the doctor helpfully told them to come back the next day. In the meantime, he told the family to put the severed finger into a glass, and put the glass in the freezer.

Of course, the finger was mush the next day, and the child will grow up less one finger.

You, the family, the fingerless boy, and everyone else paid for such sterling care.

This is a true story from the BBC, I believe. I have a copy of the story at work.

Terry Hamblin said...

Yes, yes. You should see the list of horror stories I have about the American system. The plural of anecdote is not evidence. Bottom line is even without the private contribution, the American taxpayer pays far more than the British taxpayer for a much poorer service. Of course, the NHS comes out of taxes, of course the NHS is not perfect, of course there are mistakes, but compare life expectancy in the two countries, compare infant mortality.

Believe it or not, there is a private sector in Britain and about 20% of the population carry private health insurance - it's not more because most people regard the NHS to be so good that they don't need a supplementary insurer.

I'm one of those. I have had private insurance in the past, but the service I received was inferior to that which I received from the NHS. But that is just an anecdote and the plural of anecdote is not evidence.

Chonette said...

I am glad you are safe and the infection is clearing up.
My Hitman line also had to be removed as one of the lumens was bloocked. I got back to the flat that day and the doctor phoned me to ask to come the next day to have it checked again, as it was still bloocked it was decided to remove it to avoid infections, so I went back the next day, it was also quite a job and the doctor had to cut well into my flesh, but it went out.
Just for our own interest the doctor checked the lumen and cut it into pieces to find out the blockage and it did not appear to be blocked, but obviously it was.
Now after several months, it all feels like a dream and my skin is perfect.