"We don't know why our dad died"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My dad was sent to Russell's Hall emergency department at the beginning of March 2011, by his doctor after being unwell and having some abnormal blood test results.

He was kept in this department for a couple of days while they kept taking more blood from him and running tests. They eventually sent him to a ward, where it was noticed by myself and my mother that he was acting strangely, I notified one of the nurses, they came and saw him, then told us it was our fault for overwhelming him with us being there - the family that he loved and was with him all the time.

By this point we were still no nearer to finding out what was causing my dad to be ill. We asked to see the consultant that was treating my dad, we had a meeting with the consultant where we asked them questions about what they thought was wrong with my dad but didn't really get any straight answers.

By this point in time, my dad was really beginning to deteriorate, his body swelled and he could no longer walk around, he was moved to another ward, this time a ward for stomach, liver and kidney problems, but we still had no answers for medical staff as to what was causing my dad to be so ill.

He became bedridden and developed massive swelling all over his body, nothing was ever done to reduce this swelling, he didn't eat or drink, and we began to notice that his toes were going black.

He was in so much pain, especially in his head, his tongue swollen so much that he could hardly talk and it was heartbreaking to see a man I loved so much in that much pain and he wasn't being treated for anything, they would give him morphine for the pain but that was it. He developed bruising all over his body, especially on his head and legs and yet they still didn't know what was wrong with him.

He died on Easter Sunday 2011, he had had a bleed in his stomach, and all his organs were failing, he couldn't breathe his lungs had filled with fluid, and we watched him die. It was the most painful day of our lives. The doctor said he died from multi organ failure and acute vasculitis, but still to this day we don't know what caused him to have organ failure or why nothing was done to stop things from getting so serious. He was in that place for 5 weeks and was only 66.

I cannot fault the nurses on that last ward he was in, they tried their best to look after him and keep him comfortable, but to me, he never got any proper treatment from the doctors. I really believe that his death could have been prevented, and we still don't know why our dad died 2 years on.

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Response from The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback on our hospital. We are so sorry that you had a poor experience and you feel your father’s death could have been prevented. Losing a loved one is very traumatic, especially when the circumstances have not been properly explained.

Although you have recalled a lot of detail, it is very difficult for us to comment further without knowing your father’s name and reviewing his case notes. If you would like us to look into the issues you have raised, we would be more than happy to do this. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 and they will arrange for you meet with the matron in charge of the ward who took care of your father.

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Update posted by Devistated (a relative)

Thank you for your reply.

I would like to speak to someone to see if I can get any answers.

Response from Laura Broster, Head of Communications, NHS Dudley CCG

Thank you for your valuable feedback regarding your devastating experience. We hope you have now been able to meet with someone from PALs to be able to take this forward further.

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