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Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Worried newbie

Postby boa » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:34 pm

Good news. I'll just add a conversation that we had with an excellent GI Consultant which is that fluid is likely to return but it can be drained off again. The Consultant said that she had a number of patients who came every couple of weeks for draining. Whilst John may wish to come home quickly make sure that he is fit do so and that there is a care plan in place. With hind sight we didn't have this and it made things a bit difficult at times.

Proud Wife
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:28 am

Re: Worried newbie

Postby Proud Wife » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:54 pm

Brilliant news, just brilliant!! Well done for standing your corner and getting John the treatment he needed. Keep us posted xx

PCUK Nurse Dianne
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: Worried newbie

Postby PCUK Nurse Dianne » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:31 pm

Hi Boa and Scoobysnack,

Thank you for highlighting some of the issues about the managing the fluid - called ascites. I thought it may help if added some information that may be a guide for yourselves and others as you are all very good at noticing symptoms in your partners.

As you have mentioned once this fluid (ascites) is drained, it will usually re-accumulate, and this may vary in time with each individual patient. Normally you will find that the more frequently the fluid is drained, the more frequently it will accumulate. Some of the signs that the fluid is accumulating include increased weight gain, and this can be noticeable by clothing becoming tight, obviously by weighing the patient frequently - the rule of thumb is 1kg of weight gain = 1 litre of fluid (ascites) if that helps.

The other signs include decreased appetite, due to the fluid in the abdomen pushing up under the stomach, some patients will also become more constipated, and also increasing tiredness. Difficulty with breathing is another important sign, this may be worse on exertion or you may find your partner is using more pillows to sleep or is more comfortable lying in a chair. Usually the 'shortness of breath' is an indicator that the fluid needs to be drained.

The regular drainage of fluid does also increase risk of infection. It is also important to be aware of temperatures, and patients are more likely to be 'cold and shivery' and feeling very unwell with an infection than complaining of being hot, so an important point to remember.

I hope this is helpful, not meant to be an education session per se, but give you support and confidence in managing care at home as you are doing so well.

Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse
Support Team
Pancreatic Cancer UK

Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:59 am

Re: Worried newbie

Postby Scoobysnack » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:41 pm

Thank you Diane I will get the scales out x