"Events leading to the death of my 92 year old mother"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

As expected Mum eventually fell and broke her femur. She was operated on the following day.

I noticed she sounded chesty and feared pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics but did not respond. She would not wear the oxygen mask. She pulled out the 'lines' that ware put in to administer the antibiotics as she refused to take tablets. She was sedated so another line could be put in her other arm. Her arms were bruised.

A blood pressure monitor was attached to her arm which squeezed and upset her. She was very distressed and kept saying "leave me alone". She had a heart echo sound, a chest xray and should have had a scan but would not co-operate. This went on for two weeks, it felt like torture.

I spoke to the doctor and consultant and reminded them she was 92, almost deaf, almost blind, had dementia and would probably never walk again. I believed she wanted to be left in peace to die.

She was put on a different anti-biotic but did not respond. Her lungs were filling and it was suggested a drain be put in but I really objected and the consultant agreed and then all medication was stopped. She then looked so peaceful and eventually died 3 days later.

My regret is that she was put through so much unnecessary distress. I believe the hospitals have to be seen to have done everything - like ticking boxes - just in case someone accuses them of not doing all they could. I am having instructions signed and witnessed for when my turn comes!

I would like to add that the nursing staff were very caring, I have no complaints there.

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Rhona

Thank you for posting your comments on the website, at what is obviously still a very upsetting time for you, after losing your beloved mother.

I was sorry to read your concerns in relation to your mother's last days, regarding her care and treatment, and would ask you to contact PALS ( Patient Advice and Liaison) on 01271 314090, if you would like to discuss your experience in greater detail.

I am pleased to see that you found the nursing staff so caring, as this is such an important part of a patients final journey, and I do hope your mother is now at peace.

Kind regards


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