"Post operation infection"

About: Raigmore Hospital / Accident & Emergency Raigmore Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I was admitted to hospital in early Feb for a long awaited gallbladder removal. The surgery went well but later on that day when I got up to go to the toilet I couldn't stand up straight. I mentioned to the nurse that I thought the stitches in my large incision were very tight but she said it was probably swelling and not to worry.

During the course of the night I called the nurse to say I had developed a headache and was told it was probably a side effect of the anaesthesia and gave me some paracetamol.

The following day I again said to a nurse and a surgeon that I thought the stitches were too tight and were becoming uncomfortable again this was excused away. 

Later that morning I was told I could go and get a shower and get dressed. I asked about the dressings on my wounds and was told I could remove the 3 small dressings but to leave the large one on. I had my shower and prepared to go home. I then had to wait a couple of hours for medication to come. I told the nurse I didn't want tramadol as I had a bad experiences with it before, but they talked me into having it. Again I asked about the dressing on the large wound to be told to remove it Monday. I was then left to go home. I didn't receive a discharge letter or any antibiotics.

On returning home, I was in so much pain I decided to take the tramadol on Sunday. By Tuesday I felt so ill sweating, shaking and nausea that I decided not to take anymore. Wednesday was spent in bed feeling like I was going to die. On Thursday my wound started to leak brown stinking fluid.

I phoned my GP and then NHS 24 and went back to the hospital. By this time I was having to pack over the wound with kitchen towel to soak up the discharge.

When I got to see the A&E Dr she seemed shocked by the infection and how tight the stitches were. She admitted me to ward 4A, where another Dr explained to me that my heart rate and other vital signs were dangerous and I wouldn't be able to have an anaesthetic, but the stitches had to come out so the wound could be cleaned and drained. He also commented on how tight the stitches were.

I then had to go through the excruciating pain of having the stitches cut and the wound cleaned, swabbed and packed. After this was all done I had a cannula inserted and was given a course of 3 different antibiotics IV Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then on Saturday pm I was given oral antibiotics and painkillers and discharged to return the following day to have my dressing changed.

I have since had to have it changed daily by my GP nurse and district nurse at the weekends. I should have been able to return to work in 2 weeks but instead it has been nearly 2 months.

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Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear Mocca34,

I am so sorry you have had such a terrible time and that when you were raising issues with nursing and surgical teams and you felt they did not listen or address your concerns.

This is something I think we should investigate as it would appear as if there is some learning we can do to avoid this happening again. If you would like to contact me directly on linda.Kirkland@nhs.net I would be very happy to look into this further and discuss with you

Best wishes


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