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Shaving of personal areas without consent

I was in a medically induced comma from sepsis (and many other issues) for over 2 weeks. I don't mean to be personal here but it is killing me not knowing. When you came out of your comma had parts of your body been shaved such as your privates, bottom, armpits and lower back? If it was not shaved did it all just fall out but nowhere else such as my legs and arms? There is nothing written in my notes? This is really bugging me as I hate the fact if they did shave me which provides no health benefit to the patient without even asking for my partners consent.

Edit:

I would also like to clarify that when I was awake but unable to talk properly as it took me over a week to even be understood basic words (fully conscious) nurses were making fun of me when washing, even commenting and debating what they thought the scars I have even arguing what letter it was on my thigh. A nurse was even commenting and I quote ( she is the hairiest women i've ever shaved) im not that hairy im just comfortable how I am if you know what I mean. When I ask about it im ignored. I have a fully copy of my notes and nothing is recorded. Surely it is something that should have been written down as technically you are altering someone? Also my partner was there everyday 3 times a day surely they should have asked or at least told him.

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Not that I recall, but I spent 3 months convinced I was dead so a shaved bush would not have registered. Just asked husband, he said not that he recalls.

Maybe you were shaved to enable catheter? Ask your ITU discharge nurse. Are you sure you were shaved? It may be a hallucination that has become “real” upon reflection?

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No I was awake I had the catheter put in before I was put under and I was fully aware. The areas I was shaved had nothing to do with test or treatments.

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Ah... also don’t forget you need cannula in all over the place, and the tests needed for ECG. Still unsure about privates though apart from to insert catheter. Maybe is a hygiene thing for men?

Speak to your discharge nurse for clarity

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First i'm a woman lol. My catheter was put in when I was in A and E and it was not done there. Even if it was done later on for a catheter reason there is no reason to have shaved it completely r even to shave under my arms as there was no lines out in there there were put in my neck. Also when I asked no one answers me. When I awoke they kept asking if wanted my legs shaved and got narky when ever I aid not on multiply occasions as the last thing I wanted was shaver rash and nicks out of my skin which I was left with in other intimate paces.

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My pubic hair was partially shaved to enable insertion of a femoral artery line maybe.

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No they shaved it all and cut me. Also there was no line anywhere near there, they were in my arms, neck, chest, legs and feet.

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That seems odd in my experience both as a patient and from working in hospitals we wouldn't shave someone unless they asked or unless it was necessary for surgery. I had 3 drains in my neck and only the bare minimum was shaved.

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Oops! So odd? I’ve no idea then so sorry

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I think it is generally accepted that shaving pubic hair increases the chance of infections, I believe the only reason one is shaved is to help a ‘surgeon’ with visibility etc

Your recollection of the nurses making fun struck a cord.

I was in ICU for 3 months, 2 in an induced coma and a further month waking up to the new reality. I experienced a plethora of odd moments. One was being utterly convinced that the entire nursing & medical staff were talking about me & laughing at me. Bearing in mind they called me a miracle for surviving - these nurses were ‘apparently’ talking amongst each other and pointing whilst laughing, claiming I was faking being ill.

I now believe that this was a drug induced moment of intense paranoia- whilst it is obvious that you had been shaved - is it possible that the conversation you remember so vividly, was a fabrication of your mind?

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No I was wide awake of sedation and paralysis for days and having clear conversations with my partner.

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Sepsur yes each to they're own however it is more the grazes I was left with that concerns me. Also why they shaved there and not the back of my head when I had to have it cut off as they never brushed my hair and left it all cob up.

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You ~might~ find you get some hair loss (head) over the next few weeks - it’s called Telogen effluvium which is a form of temporary hair loss that can happen after stress, a shock, or a traumatic event. It grows back, so don’t be scared to brush your hair - I lost probably 2/3 of my hair - it all grew back.

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Sepsur - My hair is still falling out 15/16 months later. Not handfuls but more than I ever shed prior to coma! And my skin since waking from coma is extremely dry and flakey. Nothing helps it! 😞

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I agree, mine did stop shedding eventually & it has taken ages for my skin to normalise - our systems have taken such a battering - it’s going to take time. I got rushed into hospital around first week April 2016 - 4 months later, I was discharged. I was on the point of death for 8 weeks & precarious for another 8 weeks. I couldn’t regulate my temperature, if I held out my hands, one was blue & one was white - that’s how messed up my circulation was - that was still the case a year later. I tried to treat myself well. Improved my diet, regular exercise etc etc. Today I feel well. If I am concerned by anything, I contact doctor. If you are worried about your hair loss, talk to doctors. We have no idea what are the new parameters for normal

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Have you ever read this?

sepsistrust.org/get-support...

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I get E45 on prescription, have you tried it? Not perfect but it does help.

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Strange and unusual

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Maybe when you were in the coma you were incontinent of faeces, the nurses may have shaved you to enable hygienic cleaning of the genital area, as the catheter would only have been for urine only .It's very common also to suffer from paranoia in icu, I was convinced the doctors, nurses and my family were trying to kill me. It can take a long time to recover from the emotional effect of being so ill, try to find some peace and I hope you find the answers you are seeking .

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I had a FMS in place. Also as I have already stated I was fully awake and conscious and this was during my recovery period a day or 2 before being starting physio.

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I'm somewhat confused by your story as it tells of being in a medically induced coma for 2 weeks due to sepsis and then discovering you had been shaved, now you say you were awake?

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No I found out when I was awake. Sorry referring to being awake was meant due to the nurses comments.

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Hi, I'm sorry you've been been upset by what has happened, no it's not trivial.

I was an ICU Nurse for 14 years and annoys me if nurses were talking about you the way you say they were. We were taught to talk to the patients - tell them what's happening to them/ what's going to happen. Unfortunately some do talk about the boyfriend, etc but rarely ICU nurses.

I remember waking up to find myself catheterised & was angry as didn't know what was going on, felt violated. Next memory was people looking at my double toe - I've 2 toes joined together but not understanding why, could feel being rolled about. First 2 days in ICU was hallucinating so imagined things knew people were talking to me but didn't know what.

What I can suggest is that you visit the ICU you were in, ring ahead and make an appointment so got plenty of time to discuss your concerns - write them down. Take your husband with you for support. Be prepared it will be a very emotional experience - I cried when I visited my ICU.

The shaving episode would be in the care notes not the Drs notes so recheck notes you've got. There is no good reason to shave anyone the way you said you were shaved unless for catheterising which shaving isn't usually needed, and putting in access lines to set up drips, monitoring lines, etc.

I suggest you get some counselling, lot of us do as what we go through is traumatic and particularly in light of your past experience thoughts can be retriggered.

I hope that helps a little bit and you get some answers & start the healing process. x

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Hi. They didn't do that. Have you asked them about any of this? Reason being is I had a lot of memories I had to sort out that were real and not. I'm not saying what you didn't hear was real but I thought a lot of things that happened actually didn't. I went back to the icu unit i was in first as I was traanfwreed hospitals and they were so happy to see me and I realized that likely a lot was the drugs and delusions. I had a great talk with them and it made me feel really good. So I would face your questions head on it might give you some clarification 😊 it will also help you stop thinking about it constantly I had to just switch my thinking when I found myself always wondering and wandering. I'm ok and survived and that s my greatest focus. Lots of love you just yo clarify Iys not like I don't believe what you are saying cause obviously there's proof that u were shaved so I would go back and find some answers. As for the comments I'm not saying that didn't happen either I just know for myself I thought that one nurse was yelling and being mean and my friend told me later she wasn't she was just talking loud. It's all so confusing. !

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As I have previously said I was fully conscious I just could not talk. Please don't call me a lier! When I could talk the nurses in question I said (by the way the scar is an E) her mouth dropped open and she walked off all sheepish. The nurse in charge of the ward apologised but the nurses in question wouldn't. |IN regards to the hairiest comment the male nurse admitted it to my partner when questioned and apologised to him but not me, never saw him again. I also had a nurse who had a tantrum, called me lazy and capable of doing it and stormed off after having a go and shouting at me (in front of the ward sister) as he couldn't be bothered to use the hoist when I needed it even though it was in my notes and all nurses had been told by the consultant (my partner was there also) I was unable to move unassisted at the time. Did we both imaging that then! I have come on this site for help not to be called a lier, I will ask admin to delete my question as comment here are making me feel worse.

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Why are people finding it ok to personally insult someone because they do not agree with them or they question? Yes I asked about being shaved as it upset me due to my sexual and physical abuse past. I found out why it was done and it was because the nurse thought i would 'like it' as I am a women so there was no medical reason for it. In regards to me being cut whilst it was done all I got was sorry it was an accident. It was done by a male nurse and it was in my notes not for male nurses/Dr to do such things and it was in my notes whilst I was in A and E so it went against my wishes in the first place. What gets to me is they did this but did not brush my hair or cut it when I asked as they left it get so bad it was all knotted and had to be cut out (by my partner) but shaving me was ok.

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Hi sorry for the delay in replying. I have been a nurse in intensive care for over 30 years and have had the opportunity to talk to many patients and relatives. I have listened to many accounts of the experiences they have shared. Firstly surviving critical care is both physically and psychologically harrowing. Most people suggest you have been lucky but luck doesn’t come into it. Critical illness has debilitating effects on many people and having read through the string of posts I just wanted to resure you that many of your thoughts and feelings are normal. I believe that some of your fears could be related to your past as I have seen this before. Often the traumatic experience you have just gone through triggers emotional distress. Medically in my experience we would shave patients for line insertions, to place ecg electrodes on men’s chests and to prepare for surgery. We would also shave the anal area to place the feacal management system for a better seal. As part of men’s daily hygiene needs we would shave their face but only if this was the norm. You are correct in saying that any other parts of the body should have been discussed with you or your next of kin. Going forward I would put in writing to the hospital your concerns. I see you have a copy of your notes which should help. Also would there be any possibility of an appointment with a clinical psychologist of even better a trauma counsellor.

I certainly think that this would be helpful to you. Sometimes the whole timeline can be such a muddle and patients struggle so much to try and understand what happened to them. Be kind to yourself, I appreciate you feel hurt and angry but right now it’s really important to look after yourself. I hope you can find some closure for your experience.

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