The other night, I went to visit my sister at the Sterling Nursing Home in Maple Shade NJ and realized as we were talking that she didn't have her oxygen hose in...immediately, I placed it around her ears and in her nose and asked her why she didn't have it on, (as she needs it on all the time)....she said she didn't realize it wasn't in,....I was kinda surprised as I usually go to visit her during the daytime hours, and found the staff to be very vigilant with making sure her oxygen was properly adjusted. As we were talking, I noticed she seemed more confused than usual,....but I assumed it was because she hadn't been wearing her oxygen,( I had no idea how long before I got there she was without it), and it would take a little while before the confusion subsided. In the meantime she told me she had to use the ladies room, so I summoned an aide as she needs assistance to use the facilities. When they returned approximately five to ten minutes later,....my sister informed me that apparently she 'didn't' have to use the ladies room after all. As her confusion seemed to escalate,....I decided to check her oxygen to make sure it was working properly, as one other time, I had visited her and the hose was faulty and the air wasn't going through. When I looked at the tank on the back of her wheelchair,...the arrow was showing that the tank was completely 'empty'. I immediately informed the nurses station that was approximately fifteen feet from where we were talking,...and what seemed like at least five minutes later, they hooked her up to a full tank, Before I left that night, I checked to make sure she was getting the oxygen she so desperately needs by putting her hose in a cup of water to check for the air bubbles. But afterwards, I thought to myself,....had she taken her hose out earlier,...cause she realized she wasn't get any air,...but yet didn't have the ability to relay her concerns to the staff,.... And when the aide accompanied her to the ladies room,....in that time, shouldn't she have checked to make sure her tank had air in it.....or even the front desk,...don't they mark the times that the oxygen tank will empty?.....maybe a refresher course would be in order, to keep the night shift as vigilant as the day shift....and lastly,....if you're oxygen dependent relative seems more confused that usual,....check the oxygen!!!
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