Multiple High RR Alerts Leading to Diagnosis of Plural Effusion and ICU Transfer
A 40 year old female. Mental health patient, with history of recurrent Plural Effusion and Hypertension, was admitted due to Lithium toxicity.
Multiple High RR Alerts (40-53 Br./min)
A nurse assessed the patient, and noticed she was using accessory muscles. Manual count confirmed high RR measurements. RRT was called according to “Between the Flags” (BTF) policy.
The Physician assessed the patient and concluded high RR was as a result of anxiety. IV sedatives were administered. RR remained high, a chest X-Ray revealed Plural Effusion.
The patient was transferred to the ICU for drainage, and returned to the ward after one day. She was sent back to the ICU after high RR alerts the following night, since fluids continued to accumulate.
Med. Dep., NSW Australia