My feed

to access all these features

Elderly parents

3 nights in hospital, now Dad has oedema

7 replies

NewspaperTaxis · 05/05/2023 11:39

Dad went into hospital, something went down the wrong way and we thought we might need a suction machine. The paramedics - always great - got a nebuliser on him but didn't have a suction machine on them.
First night was A&E - in Epsom District Hospital this is excellent in my experience - where they run loads of tests and were really on it. Admittedly about 3am or later there's a moment when someone arrives with a clipboard and it gets a bit sinister and you quickly want him back home, but going home wasn't really viable this time.

Next day they moved him to AMU - Acute Medical Unit - which despite grand views of Epsom, the City of London on the horizon and the Derby Grandstand - became absolute hell on earth, stifling and the temperatures rarely less than 80 degrees, even get this at 10pm - and this isn't a heatwave but chilly spring. It was the same at Northey Suite just across the corridor with my mum 8 years ago.

Anyway, how we got him out of there is another story - but we had to have LPA in Health and Welfare and a copy of it on our person to enforce it. Now Dad has swelling in his hands and feet, just as Mum did all those years ago after weeks in Northey Suite, also a hell hole. I know this can be caused by lack of movement and they refuse to put him in a wheelchair, all the same it seems odd. Sometimes Dad is poorly at home and we don't get to move him much, all the same he doesn't get oedema, not ever. He isn't overweight.

Is it down to something they put in the drip? That said, on the final day they didn't really put him on a drip and we didn't press for it as we were given to believe he was coming home. It's been two days since he's been back.

OP posts:
Azealeasinbloom · 05/05/2023 15:10

Preface this by saying, I am not a medical professional. In my experience oedema can be brought on by lack of movement, particularly if person is seated rather than lying down, and as it’s generally poor circulation, it would suggest that he may have benefited from compression stockings. Were these in evidence at all ?
also, you mention a drip - has he been urinating as normal? Or is it possible that his kidneys are not keeping up ?
My own father had blood pressure problems and had oedema each time he was in hospital ( for unrelated issues) and it seemed the prolonged inactivity was a factor.

HappyHamsters · 05/05/2023 15:26

Did you take him home against medical advice. If you used poa then he must not have capacity. Did they investigate why his swallow was a problem,, does he have a health problem. Is he on any medication If the swelling is new he needs to see a doctor. When you say he is poorly at home whst is wrong with him. It's very unlikely something was pit in his drip.

LIZS · 05/05/2023 15:51

Immobility and having iv fluids can create oedema . Was he given meds like steroids? Presumably he has an underlying condition which required his admission. Was he stable on discharge?

NewspaperTaxis · 08/05/2023 18:45

Hi everyone, no, no mention of pressure socks to prevent this. Maybe we should have figured this one, but then he never has oedema at home and we weren't expecting him in for long. AMU ward didn't suggest it.
I don't know why an iv drip would create oedema.
It was the same when Mum was on the Northey Suite ward just across the corridor all those years ago. Once she got out of hospital it seemed to go down within the week.
Dad's condition was stable on his discharge, his stats were okay - oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate. It made the ward's odd attitude towards us leaving all the more sinister. The consultant was okay with us leaving.

He went in with an aspiration problem. He is on a pacemaker and takes blood-thinning pills to prevent a stroke, still a mini-stroke was suggested along with an appointment at the cardio dept just across the forecourt. This also seemed a ruse to keep us in an extra day and beyond - they refused to put him in a wheelchair to get him down there, though it was very easy; I managed it. This then became another ruse - they wanted to see me do it, refusing us a hoist, so they could brand it 'dangerous'. Anyway, no attempt by the ward to arrange us an appointment with cardio since we've been home.

The whole LPA thing is odd, you'd say he lacks mental capacity, I wouldn't wholly argue though he knows who he is, his name, where he is, his date of birth and so on. Not the Prime Minister. Still, as I made to wheel him out of his room, a burly tall staff member blocked our path, stooped in front of him with faux friendliness and asked Dad if he wanted to leave, hoping he'd say 'no' - so of course, when it counts in their favour, the can be granted mental capacity!

OP posts:
AnnaMagnani · 09/05/2023 09:15

They probably gave him a lot of fluids as he was unwell.

Unfortunately if you are elderly and have bad kidneys and or heart, plus aren't moving about as you are poorly, you aren't as able to wee out the extra fluid as a fit and well younger person.

Pressure stockings wouldn't prevent this - he'd just build up the swelling at the top of his socks or around his back if he was lying down as the fluid goes with gravity to the lowest bit of the body.

Biscuitandacuppa · 09/05/2023 09:21

Oedema in extremities can can be a sign of cardiac issues so I would chase up the cardiology appointment through the hospital out patient booking department, they will be able to check if he is on a waiting list. If he was discharged against medical advice it is possible that any planned referrals were not completed so best to check.

Are you managing ok at home? Do you have all the equipment that you need? If you are struggling ask your GP to refer you to the community OT service, there is usually a rapid response team with an OT and physio. Physio might also be helpful for helping with mobility.

NewspaperTaxis · 09/05/2023 22:23

We are doing okay at home but it's hard to say if we were discharged against medical advice because the consultant said she had no issues with it, it was only the matron who suddenly emerged from nowhere in the last hour - having been conspicuous by her absence for over 24 hours of Dad being on the ward, and nothing on the noticeboards to say she existed - who got very odd about Dad leaving, tried to block it. I don't think Dad would have made it to see the Coronation had he stayed there that is I think he would have died but you never know I suppose.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.