As I was doing rounds/taking vitals/ toileting, my very mobile knee replacement patient asked to use the bathroom. I obliged but I noticed she had some difficulty in moving which was new for her but we both thought it was due to "stiffness." She was independent with supervision so I left her and told her to call when she was done. She did but when I returned she was on the phone with her daughter saying she needed her neb treatment and was telling her daughter that one day she would not be here. I overheard the conversation and told her know that I would let the nurse know about the neb as soon as we returned her to bed. Again upon transfer I found her to be very weak but I thought it was due to her needing her neb treatment. We quickly transferred to bed, we set up her space to her liking and I immediately informed the nurse about the neb. And told the nurse I was going to lunch, by the time I heated up my lunch a code was called on my patient.
In this situation I was still in school, and a tech. I was the first to notice the symptoms but did not recognize them as symptoms. Of course as a tech I did all that I could do but I later learned that knee replacement was a risk factor for PE. SOB weakness and feelings of impending doom were also symptoms of a PE. Although they are vague symptoms as I practiced as a nurse, I am always overly cautious of patients that say they have any one of the above symptoms because of how quickly the patient deteriorates