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I OD'ed on narcotics on Tuesday. **Update about whose fault it was...

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM
  • 7 Replies

I had lumbar fusion surgery on Tuesday.  The procedure went smoothly, I came out of anesthesia just fine, and they started giving me morphine for pain management.  I don't know what happened (I was still kind of loopy) but apparently they gave me too much morphine and I wasn't getting enough oxygen to my brain.  They put me on oxygen but my respirations were extremely low (5 breaths/minute).  So they decided to give me Narcan, which is used to counteract depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system following morphine overdose.  They injected the Narcan into my IV and within seconds I woke up.  The Narcan basically flushed all of the morphine out of my system, leaving me with NO pain meds immediately following major surgery.  For forty-five minutes I was screaming and crying in pain, shaking uncontrollably, digging my nails into my arm.  The doctor left me to just wait it out, and poor DF was there with me the whole time trying to talk me through it.  He held me down so I wouldn't hurt myself worse, put on some of my favorite songs, and told me stories to distract me.  I don't understand HOW this happened in the first place, but it was the worst pain I have experienced in my entire life.

UPDATE:  I talked to my ortho today and he explained part of what happened.  He said that the anethesiologist told a nurse to give me Narcan.  He specified the dosage in mg.  She screwed up the conversion (mg to mL) and gave me ten times more Narcan than I was supposed to get.  That's why I woke up so quickly and why my pain was SO horrible.  I put in a request for the full copy of my medical records so I can see exactly how much morphine and dilaudid they gave me.  I still want to find out WHY I needed the Narcan in the first place.  My best friend is a nurse and couldn't believe I was sent from recovery up to the main floor before I was stable (I was in my room before they gave me the Narcan). 

Apparently after the conversion screw up, they had a meeting about what happened.  Then they had the nurses on the floor take a mini-class to go over how to do the conversions.  Hopefully they won't do that to someone else, but it's a bit late for me!!!!

by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM
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Replies (1-7):
mrs.pyle
by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM

im so sorry you had to experience this. ive seen people going through withdrawals and it sounds like your df did everything he or she could to help you. it just  goes to show how flawed our medical system is, this could have been avoided. 

BaileynMe
by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM

That sucks! 

It surprises me that they couldn't give you something non-narcotic to at least reduce the pain. That was awful of that doctor to just leave you to it. 

cheekie1
by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 3:17 PM

wow, that is awful. i am glad you were okay, but they should have found something they could give you for pain.  how scary for you, and for your husband to have to see you in such pain.

xxLukesMamaxx
by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Oh my goodness! That is so terrible! I'm sorry you had to go through that!!!

sweettigeress
by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 4:46 PM

I am so so sorry that you had to go through that. How are you feeling now?

jllange
by on Mar. 6, 2010 at 8:01 PM

I'm so sorry you had to go through that. What a horrible experience. I'm glad the surgery went well for you though and hope everything continues to go better.

Kylie819
by Silver Member on Apr. 7, 2010 at 4:19 PM
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