Question of the Week # 385

385)  A 74 year old man with advanced dementia is sent from nursing for evaluation of umbilical hernia. He is accompanied by his sister who thought that the bulge looked ” ugly” and demanded that he be evaluated for surgery.  The patient has been nursing home bound for the past four years. There is no history of nausea or vomiting. When fed, he eats normally. The patient is not oriented and is unable to give further history. He does not have living will or a power of attorney. On examination, his vitals are stable. He appears comfortable. Abdominal examination showed a palpable bulge in the umbilical area which is reducible. There is no erythema and the patient winces when pressure is applied. There is no rigidity. When tried to explain him about possible surgery, the patient does not comprehend. He is not oriented to place, person or time. Which of the following is the most appropriate action at this time?

A) Do not consent for surgery

B) Obtain Psychiatry evaluation for Capacity assessment

C) Re-Evaluate his competence to make decisions

D) Consent him for surgery

E) Obtain Consent from his sister

9 Responses

  1. e

  2. B

  3. E) Obtain Consent from his sister – The next of kin usually can give the consent based on her knowledge of what the patient might have wished for.

  4. d..??

  5. B) psychiatry assessment

  6. E) obtain consent from his sister
    Since she is next of kin and patient winces when pressure is applied, indicating he has tenderness and require surgery.

  7. D

  8. B…… since he has advanced dementia….then I will consult the psychiatrist for evaluation of capacity assessment……also because it not an emergent surgery….

    If he had a medical problem causing the altered mental status that he has………then I would reevaluate him later……C

    A……If its an emergency case like would say “strangulated hernia”

  9. answer please
    take consent from sister?

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