"Post operative infection and lack of communication "

About: Royal Shrewsbury Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

(as a relative),

My 17 year old son had a tonsillectomy operation arranged for June 2012.

Pre-op consultation: excellent. Post-op nursing care: appalling. Discharge: no discharge information provided or no consultation except for a sealed envelope to deliver to GP surgery within 24 hours.

My son was collected from the front of the hospital via consultation, as they needed the bed, with him via his mobile phone as when contacting ward I was informed that he had been reviewed and as per pre-op information would be discharged as tonsillectomy operations are carried out and patient is discharged the following day.

From pre-op information, symptoms to be expected of ear ache pain etc were experienced by my son. Two days later tried to arrange GP appointment due to concerns of pain and small bleed following vomiting. Finally saw GP who prescribed oral penicillin for infection, vomited again, unable to swallow or speak.

On day 5 at midnight drove my son back to the ward after contacting via telephone due to severe infection post op. He could not swallow, lips swollen, tongue swollen, redness on neck, readmitted and the doctor who was excellent instantly admitted my son and inserted cannula (very dehydrated) on IV steroids, saline, penicillin, for 36 hrs.

My son informed me that the alarm for the drip was activated and as it was disturbing the other patients on the ward he stood in front of the nurses station and he noticed the bag was empty and his blood was draining through the tube. He did also comment that there was lots of discussion between the nurses as they did not know how to put another bag onto the iv system.

On discharge I contacted the ward clark and agreed I would attend the hospital in 30 minutes for his discharge. I waited in a room for 2hrs and 40 mins then left as no-one had attended to discuss discharge. My son contacted me via his mobile phone saying that they were short of beds and someone was more in need than him.

Also on arrival at the ward a patient in the next bed thanked me for my son nursing the patients in the four bed unit overnight, one of which had been given 24 hours to live and had the curtains drawn around him so that he had no contact with the patients who he had been chatting to. (Patient in this bed reported that this was his fourth re-admission following an operation bleed and infection).

When iv bag fluids removed nurse attended to my son when visiting to inject 3 syringes of fluids, at no point did she introduce herself or explain what she was injecting into my sons vein.

I believe discharge information was not provided, my son suffered unnecessary pain and discomfort that perhaps could have been avoided looking at his history, by prescribing him penicillin on discharge. The whole incident was very distressing for my son and myself who had not slept for days.

I would never have my son or myself admitted to this hospital ever. I feel that some nurses deserve the bad reputation that they have of a total lack of empathy and not caring. Very distressing. Tragic but my son overheard staff discussing the lack of beds and thought someone was more in need of his bed leaving him feeling guilty for taking up a bed.

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