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medical negligence

(11 Posts)
MrsSippie Tue 28-Jan-14 08:52:57

I'll try to keep this concise but I really need to know what to do. Two weeks ago I had reasonably major surgery (three hour operations) part of which included abdominal surgery. I came put of the anaesthetic, was transferred to the day surgery ward and sent home two hours later with no post operative instructions (except a vague point at my stomach and 'if white stuff comes out, go to your gp) I was till fairly off my head so didn't really question it -I have had multiple surgeries I'm my life but not for Yeats so assumed this was the way it was! I didn' t see a surgeon at all on the ward just nurses.

A week later, my wound was incredibly painful and I planned to see the go. However, that morning, as I got up it pretty much exploded! It was terrifying!! I went to a and e of course and was eventually put onto a ward and put on iv heavy duty AB's. One of the operating surgeons came to see me and jovially said 'well, you really shouldn't have been discharged - we put that all over your notes' I was discharged on oral abs two days later
I have obviously been very distressed and traumatised by this. I'm terrified it will comeback (although my logical mind says stop being silly!) I go back today to have the other surgery checked out (which lukcily went well) but I really feel someone should be held to account. I intend to contact pals, what more should I do?

laughingeyes2013 Tue 28-Jan-14 16:45:30

You'd need to establish why the surgeon wanted you to stay in hospital.

Sometimes wounds open up for patients while they're in hospital too, so that could be a red herring.

We're you given a district nurse or practice nurse referral for post op wound care in the community? It would seem likely that is the point of negligence if not, as a deteriorating wound can be spotted early on sometimes, but having said that, not always.

MrsSippie Tue 28-Jan-14 17:09:37

I was given no aftercare whatsoever - no proper instructions and certainly no nurses! I have had my follow up appointment today and was told that the hospital is 'under a lot of pressure' and 'sorry about that', which I don't really feel is totally acceptable!

laughingeyes2013 Tue 28-Jan-14 18:08:20

That's negligent for sure. Wounds need after care and lay people can't be expected to automatically know all the signs of infection or a wound dehiscence.

MrsSippie Tue 28-Jan-14 18:11:30

I felt as though I should have known it was infected! However, never having had abdominal surgery, I really didn't know what to expect. Thank you. Should pals be my next step?

laughingeyes2013 Tue 28-Jan-14 18:12:56

If it's any consolation though, a wound that 'bursts' pus out is much better than going red, hard and inflamed deep down inside. They always heal from the inside out and some surgical wounds are deliberately cut open again to allow for the pus to pour out and heal the wound properly, nature did it for you instead!

MrsSippie Tue 28-Jan-14 18:17:12

Yes I was lucky as the infection stayed localised! Still it was rather like a scene from alien when it all burst put! Terrifying.

laughingeyes2013 Tue 28-Jan-14 18:17:24

PALS is always a good idea because they act as an advocate on your behalf.

I don't know what you'd want from their involvement, but most patients look for answers as to why negligence took place, an effort to change practice for other people to be spared the same fate, and an apology with assurance that your care will be better in the future.

For what it's worth, an signs of infection include temperature, heat or redness, hard lumps or swelling around the wound, pain or leakage. Any one of those symptoms I would expect you to be seen the same day and if you're refused that, I'd self refer to accident and emergency.

MrsSippie Tue 28-Jan-14 18:57:27

Yes I was lucky as the infection stayed localised! Still it was rather like a scene from alien when it all burst put! Terrifying.

Leverette Tue 28-Jan-14 20:23:54

Complain via PALS. It's not good enough. You can also complete a simple form on the CQC website - it's a very, very good way of flagging issues meaning that the Trust doesn't get to hide them away.

Communication from the surgeon to recovery to the ward has obv failed ... and if they didn't see the surgeon's written instructions, what else didn't they see?

OR a staff nurse or their superior deliberately ignored and overrode the written instructions in order to free up a bed.

Either is unacceptable.

The infection you developed may be entirely unrelated to your premature discharge but what happened was phenomenally risky for various reasons (eg it may have been recommended you stay in because of elevated risk of internal bleeding for instance).

MrsSippie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:32:04

Thanks very much. I will set the ball rolling tomorrow. I completely understand the problemsthat are faced in the NHS now - but compromising patient safety, not to mention how traumatic this has all been, is really not on. Even more staggering is that this is considered one of the best hospitals on this country. I had many surgeries in the 1960's and 70's and not once did I have an avoidable complication like this.

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