Patient’s wish to receive hydration and remain at home realized by using the Macy Catheter
Heidi’s Nursing Background
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 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 Macy Catheter, I have used it on two of our patients and achieved positive results.
Symptom Management for an Orthodox Jew with Alzheimer’s
The first patient I used the catheter for was a 95-year-old female with Alzheimer’s disease who needed treatment for anxiety and behavioral disturbance.
The family observes strict Orthodox Judaism, so they were very concerned with the patient’s hydration and they were adamant that 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 told me to consult the family about using the Macy Catheter for to help hydrate the patient.
Why the Macy Catheter was a Better Option Than IV
We introduced the Macy Catheter to the family as a method of providing fluids to the patient that didn’t come with the potential pain and invasiveness of an IV line.
I showed the patient’s daughter the Introducing the Macy Catheter to Patients & Caregivers video. It explained that the Macy Catheter is small, comfortable, will remain in place, and would allow the family to administer fluids while their mother remains in the comfort of her own home.
The family was relieved to learn of this option and agreed to give the Macy Catheter a try.
A “Good Death” in the Patient’s Setting of Choice
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.