"My wife's care before she died"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital / Respiratory medicine

(as a relative),

My wife had COPD, and she was admitted to Blackburn Royal in March 2014 with a bad flare up.

The ambulance took her to resus where the doctors got her stable, then they moved her up to ward C8. The next day she was on the mend, she even had her dinner, cheese pie chips and beans and she felt ok. Then things went downhill.

The nurse said she needed the oxygen mask on nearly all the time. My wife said I don’t need it on as I feel ok. Then they phoned me to come over to the hospital to stay with her to make sure she kept the mask on or she would deteriorate, so I went over and stayed with her all day and all night.

In the night a tube came out of her arm, and it set off the alarm on the machine, I pressed the alarm button and it took 20 minutes for a nurse to come to reset the machine. She said if it goes off again just press this button and that button to reset the machine. I said to her that I was not doing her job for her. She said she was busy.

In fact I found out she was the only one on the ward, that’s why they phoned me to go over to do their job. In between other relative visits they said and reported to the sister how she was being treated and also how dirty the ward was, and she also said it was because of the cutbacks. My wife was deteriorating all the time.

We asked the nurse why she was sleeping all the time and she said because she was exhausted, but we found out later they had been giving her diazepam. Two days later she died. She had 3 xrays for lungs, heart, etc, the results came back stable.

But because I complained about the way she was treated in hospital and about the doctors and nurses, they had to have an independent post mortem. The results was she died of respiratory failure and COPD and lung cancer.

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