My grandpa had never been in the best of health. Among other things he had a pacemaker in his chest for as long as I can remember. For the past couple of months he was in and out of the hospital and last week he took a nosedive for the worse. On Tuesday he was read his last rites and put on a morphine drip so he could pass peacefully. He had signed a DNR earlier in the week. My father was staying with my him 24/7 in the hospital and he started noticing that while for the most part my gramps was passed out about every hour or so he would open his eyes wide, moan and have violent shakes. They brought the doctor in and asked if these shakes were the result of the defibrillator built in to the pacemaker. The doctor assured them that no, if they weren't preforming other life saving procedures (compression, oxygen bag, etc) that the pacemaker wouldn't keep him alive.
Wednesday morning a hospice nurse comes in and my dad again asks about the shakes being caused by the defibrillator. The nurse looks at him and asks "What defibrillator?" My dad replies with "the one in his chest". The nurse is horrified and says that the shakes were certainly due to the pacemaker and why hadn't anyone told her sooner? To get the pacemaker turned off they had to get someone from the company to come out and use a little computer to change the settings. In the mean time they bring in a magnet to put on his chest that they explain should stop the charge from going into the body and instead flow into the magnet.
Well he's still having the seizures and my dad goes out to the nurses station to ask about the possibility of a second magnet because he isn't sure where exactly the pacemaker is situated. At this time he also asks what the status is on calling the company. The nurse told him that it takes time for a tech to come out from Manhattan (We're in Staten Island). About 2 minutes later the same nurse comes into the hospital room and tells my dad they need the make and model of the pacemaker, he gives it and they find out this company has a branch for this model IN the hospital (so clearly no one called the company hours earlier when they said they had). Twenty minutes later the tech was upstairs, turned off the pacemaker and my grandpa visibly relaxed and started snoring. Three hours later he passed away.
If the doctor had listened to my father the first night my poor grandpa wouldn't have had to been shocked every hour for almost a day :(