Hospital ‘left husband to suffer' before death
5:30am Monday 24th February 2014 in By Marion Sauvebois
A BEREAVED wife has claimed her late husband was left malnourished, dehydrated and had to have his foot amputated – all after being admitted for appendicitis at the Great Western Hospital.
Lynn Edginton’s husband Michael, of Rodbourne, was hospitalised in May last year after being diagnosed with appendicitis.
During his stay, the 59-year-old mechanic, who suffered from both renal and heart failure and had very reduced mobility, began experiencing spells of confusion, which his wife claims were dismissed by staff.
As his health and mobility seriously deteriorated he fell out of bed, injuring his foot. Yet, Lynn alleges, his wound was not dressed for three days and became infected.
He was later discharged but was readmitted four days later. The bouts of confusion resumed and the infection spread, forcing surgeons to amputate the heel on his right foot.
Soon a bruise developed on his left leg but for four weeks doctors were unable to explain the cause of it, Lynn claims. Eventually, an x-ray revealed he had a broken tibia and fibula, causing him excruciating pain.
As his heel failed to heal, his right foot was later amputated. He passed away in hospital, due to his failing heart, on November 13.
“He lost three stone in weight at the hospital and was often completely dehydrated,” said the 54-year-old station manager for First Great Western. “For days he fell asleep, became confused and I was frantic, but they just didn’t notice and no-one did anything. No-one could explain how he broke his ankle.
“I want an apology for the way he was treated. He was admitted to hospital for appendicitis and died having suffered a broken leg, amputation, malnutrition and dehydration. It is the most traumatic experience I have ever been through in my life.
“My husband was a sick man and I do not blame them for his death as his heart was worsening. However, they caused him unnecessary suffering in the last six months of his life and caused his children and myself extreme trauma.”
Hilary Walker, chief nurse at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, admitted the quality of care received by the father-of-two had fallen short of the high standards set by staff.
She said: “We are sorry that the quality of care provided to Mrs Edginton’s husband did not meet the high standards we expect. Our staff pride themselves on delivering the highest quality of care and it’s clearly disappointing for everyone when we fall below these standards.
“Our nursing and medical team were in constant contact with Mrs Edginton throughout her husband’s care and we have a duty of candour to our patients and their relatives. This means when things go wrong, we investigate, explain what happened and what action will be taken to prevent the same thing happening again. We apologise that we did not keep Mrs Edginton as fully informed as we should have.
“We have spoken to Mrs Edginton and she has agreed to meet in person and discuss her husband’s care.
“We would encourage any patient or relative who has concerns to raise them with a member of staff at the time or contact our customer service team on 01793 604031.”
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