Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – Anecdotes From The Wards

The Surprise Question:
‘Would you be surprised if this patient were to die in the next few months, weeks, days’?
It is all so prevalent in the press these days...

The Telegraph reports upon yet another 'anecdotal' 
story -

Woman, 93, left severely dehydrated in hospital despite complaints from daughter

A 93-year-old woman died after she was left severely dehydrated in hospital for hours despite complaints from her medical lecturer daughter, a hearing heard yesterday.

A 93-year-old woman died after she was left severely dehydrated in hospital for hours despite complaints from her medical lecturer daughter, a hearing heard yesterday.
Photo: ALAMY
The elderly patient was taken to Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield, west Yorkshire, in “copious pain” after severe vomiting caused by a bowel blockage.
But when her daughter, a University of Hull nursing lecturer, visited three days later she found her mother had not been connected to an intravenous drip to ensure she did not become dehydrated.
A nurse “dismissed” her when she raised her concerns, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told.
Her mother died three days after the incident in May 2008.
The council said the daughter’s complaints had been “brushed off” by the nurse, Erica Denton. When she returned later in the day, the drip had still not been connected. She “complained bitterly” and was overheard by a junior doctor but although the doctor and a colleague tried to help, they were unable to fix the drip adequately, meaning it was not connected until the night shift
The daughter has refused to attend the hearing in protest after the NMC found other nurses on duty that day had no case to answer.
Derek Zeitlin, for the NMC, said: “The patient’s daughter described how the registrant told her that her mother was fine when she was making an inquiry which really wasn’t by way of pleasantries.
“Her concerns were dismissed and they really shouldn’t have been because her mother was suffering from a bowel blockage which had not been cleared for several days.
“As a result of the patient’s health she needed to have fluids intravenously to keep her fluid levels up.”
Mr Zeitlin described how the daughter had remonstrated with Ms Denton, adding: “At 11.00 that morning when the daughter arrived she noticed the intravenous infusion was not functioning, and she was concerned that her mother was becoming dehydrated with severe implications for her health.
“She spoke to nurse Denton who claimed that she had spoken to the doctor.
Later on in the afternoon she returned to the hospital and discovered the drip still had not been dealt with, and she complained bitterly and was overheard by a junior doctor.”
The doctor attempted to fit the drip but knocked it out again as he left. Another doctor then tried to intervene but could not find a vein, leaving the patient, known only as Patient X, without fluids until the night shift. When a new team of nurses came on duty that evening, they quickly dealt with the issue, calling for a consultant to fit the drip.
Denton was employed as a staff nurse by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and was working on Ward E of the hospital when the incident took place on May 5 2008.
The patient died three days later, on May 8.
Denton has admitted describing the patient as “fine” to her daughter, not requesting help from clinical support services and not ensuring medical staff fitting the intravenous cannula within a reasonable period of time.
She also admitted not seeking the assistance of the "surgical bleep holder" to ensure the cannula was fitted in a reasonable time.
But she denied failing to provide an adequate standard of care and misconduct that impaired her fitness to practise.
The hearing continues.

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