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Respiratory arrest in Kentucky

Following a hysterectomy in a Kentucky hospital, I was taken to my room where the nurse connected the IV. I stopped breathing, turned blue and went into respiratory arrest. The nurse was involved in busy work and did not notice. Fortunately, my mother was in the room and alerted the nurse who replied, "Go, get a nurse!" My mother ran to the nurse’s station, but no one was there. She began running up and down the hallway yelling for a nurse to help. A nurse came running from somewhere to the nurses station and put out a "code blue."

When I started resurfacing, I had artificial breathing paraphernalia, and I was surrounded by an emergency team rushing me to an elevator. I passed out and awakened over 24 hours later in the cardiac care unit. I was told that they discovered carbon monoxide in my system, which caused an adverse reaction with the IV medication. I guess it is possible, but since I lived in an all-electric home and the surgery took place in the late spring when no HVAC was in use, I find it highly unlikely. I can think of no situation leading up to the surgery in which I would have encountered carbon monoxide.

Bottom line — Had it not been for the alertness of my mother, I would be dead. I was charged for the extended stay in the hospital and for the additional treatment in the cardiac care unit, not to mention the mental anguish I now suffer prior to surgical procedures requiring anesthesia.