What You Need to Know
About Wires and Tubes
The wires adhere to the chest skin surface with sticky pads for monitoring the heart rate and rhythm. Sometimes you will find multiple wires attached to the scalp and hooked up to an electroencephalograph. This measures brain wave patterns. These monitoring systems are benign and do not directly cause any complications. However, the monitor screen is only as good as the person who is watching it. If no one is keeping an eye on it, then it is useless. Therefore, when you arrive on the unit, your first question should be, "Who is watching the monitors?" Although these electronic gadgets all have alarm systems, many staff members learn to ignore them because they often go off for no reason. The danger associated with cardiac monitors is the possibility that a potentially lethal heart rhythm and/or rate would appear on the display and no one would notice.
There are six different functions for the various-sized plastic tubes, which are the same for infants and children as for adults: infusion, blood and blood product transfusion, feeding, drainage, monitoring, and breathing. We'll look at each of these, go over the most common threatening complications associated with each, and learn how to prevent permanent damage. Although some complications cannot be avoided, most often the difference between a complication resulting in permanent injury or not depends upon how the nurses and doctors respond - with the nurses being the first line of defense.