I received a call from Anita Marshall regarding concern over a patient that had complained of epigastric pain. Anita had received a call that morning from Mr. A, an 82-year-old gentleman with left nephrectomy last year and some other medical history. Anita was informed that Mr. A had gone to local ED in the Franklin area and was told he needed his gallbladder removed and he needed to follow-up with the VA. Mr. A was then given pain meds and told to contact his VA, being discharged from the ED.
With clearly demonstrated competence, compassion and knowledge, Anita requested the records from the local hospital and noted acute cholecystitis along with an elevated white blood count. Remember, this is an 82-year-old gentleman with one kidney. Anita told him to go straight to our VA and be evaluated. Anita called ahead to inform the ED of the findings and her concerns. Anita also faxed the records, so our ED provider could already see what was going on. When Mr. A. arrived at our VA, his white blood count had doubled, and his creatinine had elevated even more than the night before. Mr. A was admitted for hydration, pain control and surgery for his gallbladder.
I truly believe that if not for Anita’s knowledge, compassion, and just common sense, this could have been a very poor outcome for Mr. A. Anita was very upset that Mr. A was discharged from another facility given his age, comorbidities and his diagnosis. I commend her on her diligence with this Veteran and getting him here as soon as possible to get him the treatment he needed before things worsened even further than they already had in 24 hours. I feel Anita should be recognized for such an excellent job of advocating for this Veteran.