I would like to nominate Christine Barleben for the Daisy Award for the outstanding care she provided for a patient with a very difficult problem. The patient was transferred here from Kenosha on 10/24/09 with a diagnosis of empyema but he also had prior surgeries on the left chest and he also had a right-sided trapped lung due to recurrent effusions. He underwent a major surgery on the left chest with removal of a portion of his chest wall leaving a large open wound that needed daily dressing changes. In addition the patient also had respiratory failure and needed a tracheostomy and also a right thoracotomy and decortication. So this gentleman on prednisone for his rheumatoid arthritis had two major surgeries and a tracheostomy.
The care of this patient was quite involved, especially due to the need for daily dressing changes to the large open wound in his left chest. In addition to the wound care, he also developed a C.Diff infection. He spent over a month in the MRICU and during the majority of his stay Christine took care of the patient. She provided the best care for this patient every day. She could have chosen to take care of another patient with less problems but she continued to take care of him. Eventually he was able to be weaned off the ventilator and had his tracheostomy tube removed. He was talking, gaining strength, and was able to start eating again.
I believe that the care provided to him was exceptional. Christine went above and beyond what would be expected from an ICU nurse. Her dedication and commitment to the care of this patient is one of the main reasons why he was able to recover without other major complications that patients can have with a prolonged hospital stay.
I also believe that the MRICU provided great overall care as well with guidance from all the consulting physicians involved.
In summary, Christine went above and beyond her expectations in taking care of this gentleman and the family was also extremely grateful. She is truly exemplary of the kind of care we strive to provide for all our patients at Aurora.
Vijay Nuthakki, MD