"Initial experience was very unsatifactory, but you..."

About: Cumberland Infirmary

What I liked

My 15 year old son was admitted onto the childrens ward on Saturday and I could not fault the care and treatment he recieved whilst on this ward.

What could be improved

The problem I had was with your A&E dept, my son had been sick through the night on Friday, upon waking on saturday morning I noticed a finger on his had was badly swollen and obviously badly infected from a small graze, the infection could clearly be seen tracking up his hand and just above his wrist, I took him to A&E as I knew this was a serious infection, once there his temp was taken and his pluse and he had an xray, we where not told any of these results, and dispite the fact the infection was clearly travelling up his arm and he was complaining of pain in his under arm (armpit) (which even I knew ment it had already travelled up his arm and was draining into his lymph gland) we where sent home with a weeks supply of oral antibiotics, we where not even asked if his tetanus was up to date. During the afternoon the infection had worsened and it could been seen easily that it had travelled up past his elbow and nearly to his shoulder, I brought him back to A&E where he was immediately given antibiotics by IV, and admited to the childrens ward to continue his treatment, he stayed there for 4 days and needs a further fortnight of antibiotics. My problem is that even myself as a lay person knew this infection was serious and feel that upon my first visit to A & E that we where not treated seriously, had I waited any longer to bring my son back we could have been looking at serious septicemia and possibly a loss of limb or worse, and given the fact that we live 26 miles from the hospital I do not think the treatment he recieved was very satisfactory at all. I think your A & E staff should be made more aware of how serious even a small infection can be and should be more aggressive in there treatment in the first instance instead of waiting to see if septicemia sets in.

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

Firstly, thank you for getting in touch and we apologise that it has taken us so long to respond. We have changed the way we do this and asigned a member of staff to respond so that we can improve and be more timely with our responses. Thank you for sharing your story with us and we are pleased you couldn't fault the care and treatment given to your son on our children's ward. We will let the staff know and they will be so pleased. We are concerned about the delay you encountered with the treatment in our A & E and this was unacceptable especially when you had to bring your son back again from your home 26 miles away. We have recently introduced a new care bundle into the hospital around infections and continue to impress on staff the importance of checking for this thoroughly. We hope this wasn't a difficult experience for your son and he made a speedy improvement.

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