The care Butch Stokes received at the Medical Surveillance Unit at the Pasqua Hospital was nothing short of a miracle, says his wife.
Incapacitated by chronic vomiting and diarrhea, Butch was at the emergency room twice and then admitted to a ward at the Pasqua Hospital for 16 days where doctors ran a gamut of tests. Still, they couldn’t determine why his condition continued to deteriorate.
“I can’t say that his care wasn’t good in the other ward, but there is really no comparison,” Linda said. “He got to the point where I was going to ask to have him sent to another hospital where they might have better diagnostic units. I was at my wit’s end.”
The 70-year-old was transferred to the MSU, a 12-bed unit at the Pasqua that cares for patients too sick for an inpatient unit, but not so sick they require intensive care.
In the MSU, doctors determined Butch had a rare reaction to Olmetec — a drug he’d been on for eight years. His drug reaction was the only documented case in Canada.
“His case was written up in the Canadian Medical Journal,” Linda said.
Butch lost 60 pounds before he was diagnosed.
“For us, the MSU was a miracle and I don’t say that lightly because Butch, at best, was two days away from complete renal failure,” Linda said.
Health-care professionals including a registered nurse, physician, pharmacist and physical therapist gathered daily at Butch’s bedside to discuss his case.
“They went through his history from admittance to the MSU right to that particular day so there was no room for error,” Linda said. “The ball never got dropped. The staff showed us positivity, patience, understanding and compassion. Our whole family was always included in discussions about his condition and care.”
After 11 days in MSU, Butch recovered and returned to his Regina home on Jan. 11.
“He got consistent care,” Linda said. “It saved his life.”
Unit manager Marlee Cossette, who co-leads the unit with Dr. Kish Lyster, said there are very few units like the MSU across Canada.
The unit opened Jan. 8, 2016.
“We try to fill the gap for the patients who are too sick to be on the ward — either there are too many resources needed from the nursing perspective or maybe patients are sick with things that are rare or difficult to manage on the wards,” Cossette said.
Three physicians rotate in the MSU on a weekly basis so there is consistency of care.
“We have a really defined team and a really defined goal in what we are trying to achieve,” Cossette said.
Teamwork has resulted in fewer staff injuries, and they’re less serious.
On each shift, nurses use an acuity tool to score each patient’s condition to identify early stages of deterioration.
“It’s very detailed and specific and only takes about a minute to do, but it allows us not only to quantify how sick they are and how many resources in terms of nursing are required in order to provide that care,” Cossette said.
Patient numbers have grown, but staffing hasn’t increased. However, each nurse has a balanced workload.
“When you feel that you’re working equally hard as your colleagues, it sets a different tone and it was one of the easiest things we implemented,” Cossette said.
More staff have stayed, which mean lower orientation costs, and nurses work less overtime.
“When you work with such a close-knit team, people are happy to be at work and I think it translates to really good patient care,” Cossette said.
Published: July 24, 2017
Source: Regina LeaderPost http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/pasqua-hospitals-medical-surveillance-unit-a-lifesaver-for-regina-man