ANDY Murray’s hospital bed selfie has prompted a group of US doctors to claim the Wimbledon champion received “sub-optimal” medical care.
Murray posted a snap of himself recovering after a hip operation at an undisclosed hospital in London.
The Utah-based Association for Vascular Access wrote a lengthy article on their website pointing out everything they considered “wrong” with Murray’s care.
They even annotated the picture to detail what they claim are six mistakes, including two drips in his playing arm and placing a blood pressure cuff on the same arm as the drips.
Vascular access refers to rapid and direct methods of introducing or removing devices or chemicals from the bloodstream, such an IV drip.
The association claimed: “When Sir Andy Murray shared a photo from his hospital bed it got hundreds of thousands of likes, but it’s unlikely any of those came from vascular access clinicians.”
They claim the drips should not have been placed in Murray’s right arm, which he uses to play competitive tennis. They add that, in any case, the blood pressure cuff should be on the “free” arm and not the same one used for the drip.
Murray’s “hairy arms” should have been clipped, blood can be seen in one of the tubes which should have been “flushed”, and dressing and tape and not letting blood flow properly, they claim.
Finally, they claim that stopcocks visible in the picture should have been removed “immediately following surgery” to reduce infection risk.
After the article was shared on Twitter yesterday afternoon (wed), it divided opinion among professionals.
@akstone4094 wrote: “Once move out of anesthesia and to the floor, cuff should placed on the arm opposite the IV.
“The blood in the line and the dressing should have been addressed.”
@skirchy wrote: “Even I know you shouldnt have blood pressure cuff on the same arm as an IV.”
But a specialist doctor annotated the annotated picture to rebuff the association, including claiming that arm hair should not be clipped as it increases infection risk.
And @doctorwibble countered: “He’s likely to have been in the left lateral position for surgery, so it would be entirely normal practice to site the drip in the uppermost arm (right in this case), ditto the BP, blood pressure, cuff on the arm he’s not lying on.”
@WelshGasDoc wrote: “They’ve really p****d me off. These super-sub specialist associations sound lofty and worthy, but their clinical relevance really is lacking.”
In their article, the Association for Vascular Access, claimed: “Andy, a multi-millionaire and celebrity, shared photos of his PIVs and probably had no idea just how sub-optimal his vascular access care was.
“The hundreds of thousands of fans who liked the photo probably had no idea either.
“This is happening every day in hospitals and clinics everywhere, in part because vascular access is not adequately covered in nursing or medical school.
“Fifty people die every day in American hospitals because of complications resulting from their vascular access devices.
“Andy did not become part of that statistic, but thousands of others do every year. We need to do better, not just for the rich and famous – but for all of us.”
Murray’s management team refused to reveal which London hospital conducted the surgery.
The Association for Vascular Access said the they were “thrilled” that one tweet had sparked international conversation about IV care.
CEO Ramzy Nasrallah said: “We appreciate both medical circumstances and context when discussing what vascular access best practice looks like. Our professional evaluation was based on one photograph posted by Mr Murray.
“Some guidance for IV care and maintenance best practice requires more context (it’s been pointed out by some that he had lateral surgery on his right hip, justifying the use of his right arm for access) but there are elements to what he shared that can be addressed simply by what’s in the photograph.
“The gap between what happens in the operating theatre and on the wards is not a UK phenomenon; it’s a global one.
“AVA was not attacking a specialty, a person or an institution with this exercise; rather we were using a high profile and public opportunity to demonstrate how vascular access insertion, care and maintenance may be improved. Vascular access is the gateway to all healthcare delivery and the most common invasive procedure in medicine.
“Mr. Murray didn’t go to the hospital just to get an IV (or two). He went to have his hip resurfaced.If something were to go wrong with his access, the entire procedure and his health could be compromised.
“This was an opportunity to further coalesce every clinical stakeholder around mitigating the risks for the patient that come with every IV cannulation. We can all get better, more aware and more vigilant around patient safety and best practice.”
The star’s snaps caused debate of a very different kind when it appeared that an x-ray of his new metal hip also included his genitalia.