Therefore, giving dehydrated patients enough water serves to increase the ability of the patient to fight other illnesses, hence promoting their safety (“National Patient Safety Agency”, 2007). Consequent to this, the following discussion highlights one of the incidences that involved failure of a nurse to give water to a dehydrated patient. The error worsened the condition of the patient, increasing harm to the patient.
I once observed an incidence that occurred in the surgical ward involving an elderly man, who was admitted with critical limb ischaemia. His right leg was greatly affected, thus causing him a lot of pain. The patient was also frail and was diagnosed with dehydration on admission, which characterizes many elderly patients (Scales, 2011). Therefore, an overnight plan was laid out to help him rehydrate his body. The plan consisted of close monitoring of the patient’s fluid balance as he was to be given plenty of water for the night. More to this, his urine measurements were to be taken on an hourly basis. However, the nurse on duty did not follow the plan as expected. The nurse seemed a bit tired on this particular night, thus spent little time with the patients. The patient received 1000ml of water in 12 hours, as the nurse did not take heed to the doctor’s instructions to monitor the patient closely. Additionally, the patient received only four urine measurements as opposed to the hourly measurements. The patient’s output remained dangerously low during the entire period, but no action was taken to try and seek a solution for the patient. This made the condition of the patient worse as he was still dry, and made little urine in the morning. More to this, the leg of the patient had worsened, and the chances of salvaging the leg were quite low.
This situation compromised the safety of the patient as water plays a critical role in a patient’s body.