Five W’s for Post Op Fevers, or what I learned from Gray’s Anatomy

My niece, Sasha, who I’ve talked a bit about on this blog and on Facebook is now working at a hospital (she’s in orientation), in ICU. She had a patient yesterday, a post op patient and they were running a fever. The doctor came in, the nurse Sasha was following asked him about getting an order of Tylenol for the fever.

The doctor asked if she new the five W’s for post op fevers. She didn’t. He asked another nurse that was close, she shook her head no too. He looked at Sasha, pointed at her, and she rattled them off.

The doctor was impressed, the nurses too, she laughed about it as she told me the story. She is a huge Gray’s fan and said she had learned that from watching the show.

By the way in case you’re wondering what those five W’s are (never know they could be on your NCLEX test).

POD – refers to post op day, or when those infections generally occur.

Wind POD1-2 the lungs, possible pneumonia
Water POD3-5 UTI sometimes caused from the cath.
Walking (or VEINS, which then sounds like “Weins”) POD4-6 deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
Wound POD5-7 surgical site infection,
Wonder drugs or “What did we do?” POD7+  infections related to intravenous lines or reaction to blood products

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