"About my husband's care"

About: Albany Health Campus Royal Flying Doctor Service

(as a carer),

My husband was admitted via the Emergency Department for an infected foot ulcer. (He is a diabetic with acute kidney failure). I do not question the care he was given in emergency or when he went into the HDU (High Dependency Unit).

A few days later I visited him in the morning and he was very frigidity and very tired.

When I went back to the hospital later that afternoon I walked into his room and figured I would see him the same.

But he was sat on the side of the bed with an oxygen mask on in a complete mess.  He was struggling to breathe and he was in severe pain as he was trying to breathe.  This was very, very distressing to find as I had not received any phone call - I was told by a nurse the day before if anything changed I would be rung (I never received a phone call).  He struggled to let me know that a code blue had been called on him a few hours earlier.  I found a nurse and asked what was going on.  There appeared to be no urgency as I was told that he had collapsed, turned grey and his lungs were full of fluid.  They said his kidneys had finally failed and he was full of fluid.

I sat with him until 10pm as RFDS (Royal Flying Doctors Service) had been called for him to be transferred to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (Sand would be there during the night or the next morning.  There was still seemingly no urgency, and as I sat with him I had to go out and find a nurse as he developed a horrible nose bleed with the oxygen and his cpap machine that was helping him breathe.

I returned at 7am to sit with him.  He was still in the same position, he could not lie down and was still in severe pain.  One nurse commented that he should not be on the ward and he should have been sent back to HDU.  (He was in HDU for the first 2 days of his admission)  

That morning I once again rang the nurse's bell, no one came and I had to run down and I grabbed the first person I found as my husband had gone to the toilet and once again could not catch his breath.  

He was picked up by 2 volunteer ambulance personnel and I met them at the airport, once again there appeared to be no urgency.  When we got to RFDS hanger the doctor there took one look at my husband, got him onto the plane very quickly and they took off.  The volunteer ambulance officer stated to me that they should have sent him with paramedics, but they were all at the car show.

Once he reached SCGH (Paramedics met the plane, with lights and sirens blaring) he was started on dialysis straight away and put into ICU at SCGH.

Now a week after my husband arrived at Albany Hospital, a Cardiologist came and saw us to let us know that his blood tests were back and that he had suffered a Heart Attack, three days earlier ...

He now has two stents in place with one of his arteries 90% blocked.

I am writing this letter as when I think back to his time in Albany Hospital, I now realise how very, very lucky we were that we did not lose him that day.  An ECG was done on him after the code blue was called - but I do not understand why he was left on his own with the patient next to him having to call for a nurse and myself having to run to find a nurse, as when I pressed the bell no one came!  I am very distressed still, as now I cannot bring him home from Perth, as there is no room for haemodialysis in Albany.  His PD (peritoneal dialysis) tube has been put in the wrong place and is not working so he cannot even get his training to come home.  We are now having to rent an apartment for him (and yes I know PATS will help a bit), as he has no choice but to stay up there.  He has now been gone from home for 4 weeks.

I have just arrived back home after spending the whole week up there getting him settled and also attending his dialysis - I had to return home so I could work... I will be driving up every weekend.

I really would not like any one else to have to go through this - I think you are going to answer and say how busy the hospital is.  I do realise this and you all do an excellent job, I realise how many people are sick...  but this really scared me and I really do not understand why he could not have been looked after a bit, in my opinion, more professionally...


Response from Juan Clark, Operations Manager, Operations, Albany Health Campus, WACHS Great Southern 2 years ago
Juan Clark
Operations Manager, Operations,
Albany Health Campus, WACHS Great Southern
Submitted on 03/07/2018 at 13:14
Published on Care Opinion at 13:18

Dear Gratefull he made it

Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us your story and that of your husband. I am very sorry for the distress you both have experienced and gratefully acknowledge that your intent in telling us about your experience is to ensure that it does not happen to anyone else.

We very much view feedback such as yours as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement but in order for us to investigate this comprehensively and to talk to the team caring for your husband we will need to be able to identify your husband. We would like to assure you that we will apply fairness to this process.

If you are happy for us to commence a comprehensive investigation please contact me, Juan Clark, Albany Hospital Operations via email on ahc.operations@health.wa.gov.au

With best wishes

Juan Clark

AHC Operations Manager

WACHS Great Southern

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