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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Nick U

My daughter doesn't like math. She got through college, and now is almost through nursing school, so she can do what's needed, but she doesn't like it. She's been working / training in the Neonatal ICU  (the NIC-U) recently. Tonight we went to dinner at Amelia's where she gave me a rundown on one example of how math impacts her job.

CLUSS syringe injection pump

Premature babies have a (some kind of special) PICC line through which various fluids are fed. The line is twinax - i.e. it has two parallel tubes. Each line has three different substances being fed into it. There are basics like salt and sugar, but there are also hormones and fats and I don't know what else. Most of these are fed in a low volume, continuous stream, but sometimes they need a medicine of some sort. In these cases, when the medication is 'compatible' with the stream, it can just be added directly. If the medication is not compatible, the stream has to be interrupted, the line has to be purged, the medication streamed in, and then the original stream is reconnected. What makes it more complicated is that not everything is fed at the same rate. Your normal feed stream might be one milliliter every five minutes. The medication feed rate might be same or higher, or it might be as little as one tenth of a milliliter in an hour. And don't forget that the line itself has a capacity of eight tenths of a milliliter, so how long do you need to run straight saline solution in order to flush the line? And don't make any mistakes, a small person's life is depending on your getting it right.

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