Patient’s wish to receive hydration and remain at home realized by using the Macy Catheter
The family felt that the patient “perked up and became less lethargic” within a few hours of beginning the infusion.
I have been an RN for 17 years. I worked in critical care and home care for 6 years, before entering the hospice field over 11 years ago. I originally learned about the Macy Catheter (MC) through a training at Community Hospice & Palliative Care, where I currently work as a Clinical Resource Nurse, training and supporting the professional staff. Since learning about the MC, I have used the MC on two of our patients, with positive results.
The first patient I used the catheter with was a 95-year-old female with Alzheimer’s disease who was treated for anxiety and behavioral disturbance. The family observes strict Orthodox Judaism and were very concerned with the patient’s hydration and adamant she remain at home. As the disease progressed, she was no longer able to safely swallow liquids or take medications by mouth. Her case manager contacted me to consult on using the Macy Catheter for desired hydration.
We introduced the Macy Catheter to the family as an option to provide fluids to the patient, to avoid a potentially painful, invasive IV line. I showed the patient’s daughter the Macy Catheter Patient/Caregiver Video, which explained that the MC was small, comfortable catheter that will stay in place, allowing them to administer fluids while their mother remains in the comfort of her home. The family was relieved to learn of this option and agreed to give the MC a try.
After placing the catheter, I began a continuous infusion of water at 60 ml/hr. The patient tolerated the placement of the catheter and fluid infusion without difficulty. The family felt that the patient “perked up and became less lethargic” within a few hours of beginning the infusion. They were extremely thankful that they were able to safely and comfortably provide hydration to their loved one in her own home, stating they were grateful there was “such a simple answer to our biggest concern.”
As a result of the effective intervention, the family was able to follow their religious beliefs while respecting their mother’s wishes to pass peacefully in her home, surrounded by loved ones.