My 20 year old son went in for a routine tonsillectomy on 6-18. He was given strong liquid codeine for the pain. 3 days went by and I called the office questioning his degree of pain and was told this was normal. 3 days later I called the office in the morning because he was in such severe pain. The medical assistant called back and and said the doctor could prescribe a steroid or percocet. I chose percocet. The office did not ask to see him. Later that same day at 4:50 he started feeling blood in his mouth. At 4:53 I called the office, and the exchange picked up. The doctor on call called me back. His first question was, ""when did this start?" I said at 4:50. He said, if you would have called before 5 you would have reached your OWN surgeon. I said that I did but the exchange was already answering. He said, no food tonight, only popsicles and ice chips, the wound is trying to scab. By 6:45 after 7 or 8 popsicles, which was masking the blood, I called the doctor back and left another exchange message, and my son ran in the bathroom, and projectile vomited 2 to 3 cups of blood in the bathroom. The doctor called back after I called the exchange twice, and said go to the hospital NOW. By the time we arrived 5 to 7 minutes later, My son's stomach was full of blood, and vomited more cups of blood in the ER, and the operating room. He was in surgery within 10 minutes of arriving at the ER to have his previous tonisillectomy site re cauterized. He had his first surgery with a hemoglobin of 16, and left the hospital after the 2nd surgery 6 days later with an 11 hemoglobin. I wish the doctor would have seen him when I called in for the severe pain. Obviously there was a problem, and I feel like I was treated terribly, and ignored. Does anyone know how long it takes a healthy strong 20 year old male to increase his blood count? does anyone feel this was malpractice by ignoring our phone calls for help?
Now that he's been treated, he'll probably be fine. It might be several weeks before his iron count comes back up all the way, but the worst effects of blood loss pass very quickly, especially with transfusions.
Were they neglectful? That's another question entirely. I don't know.
grkg1970, almost all surgical patients receive narcotics afterward.
Last edited by janewhite1; 06-27-2008 at 10:06 PM.
wow,what a mess. I would have never given my chil opiates for pain in the first place. Too powerful even in child dosages. Dr offices are exempt from not returning your call because of caseload they have. If you were worried you should have taken child to ER in a court of law they would say you wer the neglectful one.
you are correct. I should have by passed his medical assistant and went directly in to the office and insisted on being seen. He is now on his 4th night since his second surgery and feels much better than the first surgery which was 5 days prior to the second surgery. I believe he was in pain because the clot was trying to burst, which it did. Not sure if an office visit would have prevented this happening. He was given no blood transfusion and getting his rosey color back.
another post is probably correct that I am the one who should have just taken him to the doctor to prove the pain in person. I have no proof the initial surgery was done incorrectly. What happened with the bleeding was the clot that was forming at the site ruptured, but I think it was boiling to burst almost from the first day, but proving that is a different story. thank you for the support.
This is in NO way YOUR fault hon you are NOT a doctor for gods sake,just a mom trying to take care of your son after a surgery. how in gods name were you just supposed to know this kind of thing was even POSSIBLE to have happen. i would not have seen this coming eirther and i have had to have six surgeries and a son who went thur a liver transplant. its just one of those post op complications that can occur after any surgery is done. you just wont know how any post op healing process will go til you get there,so this was not something YOU could or even should have seen or prevented. it was just a complication. this is just not the norm,thats all. they could have not cauterized enough or pressure could have built up in that vessel,who knows?
i do think the other poster missed the fact that this IS a 20 year old? and jane is right,every patient,who you don;t want to see actually suffer,will in most cases,recieve some kind of narcotric,even children too. a child can suffer as much as an adult with the same surgery.
you did what you could do mom. calling the surgeons office is the right thing in most cases and let them dictate what needs to be done,but who could have expected this? i think they just didn;t quite "get' the severity of the situation right away since this IS a very rare type of occurance with this surgery. in the future,just so you know,anytime you or anyone you know has a surgery and the surgeons office needs to be called and they are not 'getting it',just head for an ER where you can at least be evaluated properly. they will take care of contacting the suregon after that,believe me.
i would just keep getting fluids into him and if possible try and iron suppliment for a week or so just to help build that back up again(you may have to break it up if he cannot swallow it whole). he may get a bit more constipated(the narcotic and the iron will just cause this) for a while but his iron will replenish much faster.
you just could not have seen THAT coming so it is not at all your fault,K? i do know what its like to watch your child vomit up blood tho,just nasty. my son did this when he reached portal hypertension with the liver failure he was in. pretty ugly. so sorry you both had to go thru all this. rest and fluids are about the best thing you can do for him right now. if anything at all pops up,i am sure the surgeons office WILL be a bit more attentive. just remember when having any sirgery,if you are not getting the attention you think you should,head for the local ER,preferably the one where that surgery was done,since they would have all the surgical info there. you DO have an option here.
just so ya know,i have never heard of any surgeon who wants to see a patient within even the first week after any surgery unless there is a very specific reason for it let alone the 48 hour thing. it is not routine to do with most surgeries. it was not up to you to even consider that one either,K? the first post op visit is at the earliest,the one week or two week post op check. it kind of depends upon the surgery. but average is six weeks for the majority.
i do think what happened to your son was really a very rare occurance or they would have responded very differently at the surgeons office when you called,you know what i mean? you did what you were supposed to do in caring for your son,K? at least they fixed him up and things sound okay now? i do hope things get better from here. please let us know. FB
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
thank u so much for your support. Today is the same day out from the 1st surgery, so we will watch him closely. He is eating something every 4 hours to coat his stomach for the liquid codeine. He loves cream of wheat, of course everything is only slightly warm, but cream of wheat is high in iron so this helps his blood count. His roommate in the hospital actually told us about this, as I had never really had to shop for high iron foods before, ha!
Each day will get better, thanks everyone. Someday I may write a book about all of the hurdles he has crossed in his life to become a major league baseball player. Although being drafted by a major league team this June, he may go ahead to his Junior year of College and see what the draft might bring next year. We initially had this surgery because last season he was haunted with serveral bouts of tonsillitis and we didn't want him to be away at College and sick this winter during the season again. Again, thanks for listening.
a little discouraging. Blood test, hgb, 10.6. Was 11.4 day after surgery. So, 18 days post op, blood count went down instead of up! We have been recommended a different type of iron supplement, so if anyone has any other suggestions...I am open to whatever you have!
thanks to all!
boy,it sure is taking a long time for that iron to come back up,are his other labs all okay? just one suggestion that really worked for my hubby? he has been donating blood for many many years(just got his 16 gallon pin a couple months ago)but for some reason,the last two times he went in,they checked his hemo and it was low for two straight times and they wont let people donate with that level. he tried various things but the only thing that really seemed to work at all was eating raisins? he took a couple of those small boxes to work everyday and just ate them during the day or with his lunch and for some reason THAT actually worked for him. don't have a clue as to why his iron was so low the two other times but she told him(the nurse) that this time it was very high but still within the normal range. so i do think the raisins actually worked for him. just one suggestion that i KNOW really helped my hubby.
your sons iron,given his age and all,really should not be that low ya know? there could just possibly be another underlying reason that needs finding out. were all his other labs okay,or did they just check the hemo? what about clotting times and other blood related labs,all okay? if they were,things are probably okay,but this is just something you kind of need to be aware of. the tendency he has for some reason for low iron right now and possibly inthe future? right now,you just don't really know. but it needs to be monitored thru out this next year espescially.
try the raisin thing,espescially right before(like a week before) his next blood draw and see how things go. like i mentioned above,this really was the only thing that worked for my hubbys iron deficiency. please keep me posted LM, FB
I'll pick up the raisins today, and let you know about his next blood tests.
The only test they did this time were the Hgb and Hct. They were both low.
Only 18 days post op after losing all the blood, so hopefully, the initial blood test was off....and the 10.6 is actually up. ha! He has an appt on Tuesday to see the ENT, and he he doesn't understand the levels, then we may see a hematologist. thanks for the raisin note
his energy level is better, but not at all what it used to be. Problem is, he has soooo much to do the within the next few weeks, leaves for College on 8-6 where they will expect him to be at his best! boy...they will be surprised....the best news..he has only lost 10 pounds....gym every day the next 3 weeks will help his stamina I am sure....Doctor appt on Tuesday, so more news after that appt. Good news I hope!
simple tonsillectomy turned into a nightmare....still cannot believe this!
I know what you are going through. Two years ago, my son who was five at the time, got very sick. It was a whirlwind of going to the doctor for what we thought was a bad bug - to a ct scan that showed fluid in his stomach. They rushed us to the children's hospital and it was pancreatitis. It is very rare in children. His pancreas enzyme levels were higher than any of the doctors had EVER seen.
It was very scary - but we made it through and he got better. It just took time. He wasn't himself for about a month of two. But now he is just a normal little boy again. Praying for your little one and you, and for wisdom for his doctors. Sometimes you just gotta have a little faith. Easier said than done I know - but from a mom whose been in those oh, so scary shoes - it will all work out.
Doctor appt today, he apologized for the bleeding. Said it would take 2 to 3 months to get his count back up. He is getting his stamina back at the gym. His blood pressure was 150/80 at the hospital, which they attributed to the trauma, although this was the same reading he had today, so I guess this is something else we will need to monitor.
So hopefully he is on the road to health again.