What a sad story here. Complicated? No. But I can’t make up my mind if it’s the fault of the National Health in place, or simply the fault of the few idiots involved.
Either way, it should not have happened.

More and more we read of screw ups that happen and lives lost.  Worse still, here on this side of the Atlantic, there have been numerous cases of the hiring of foreign doctors as fill ins due to a shortage of some kind, who have poor language skills and have caused much havoc and even death.
It is scary.  It gets much worse from there and I bet the same sad story in the USA as well.  What I am referring to is the care of the aged. Old age homes or as they are called here, care homes. Either way, not too pretty from what I read in the papers almost every day. Abuse and mistreatment and poor quality care.
I do understand that the papers won’t sell anything if the headline reads, everything is really well and ALL old age people in care homes are deliriously happy.
Still though, even reading one article out of the many I see like this one, or like the photos of care workers caught on security cameras abusing helpless old folks is frightening and very disturbing.  And trust me, when you get to a certain age and have no family to fall back on, you are alone in the world, and can not help but think of what your future might be.  So anyway as I read this I also can not help but wonder, if the NHS can fail in this manner, how’s it gonna work in a country the size of the USA with our population?  Is this what Obama’s health care reforms will look like once in force, if they ever get that far?

On a personal level, my wife is still suffering from the effects of Shingles and severe back pain from a fall.  It’s been six months since her doctor wrote to the pain management clinic and we haven’t heard a word from them. OK, they’re busy and booked solid. We accept that. It happens.  But it would be nice, it really would, if the freekin clinic could find the courtesy to respond to her doctor’s letter. Which they have not done. Or write us as we were told they would, to let us know where in the waiting line the wife is. But no.  Communication isn’t their strong suit here. Meanwhile, due to the vast amount of pills the wife is consuming, I’m having to grit my teeth and ignore the odd time here and there when she drives me up the fuckin wall.  Like projects that have to be suddenly started at the end of the day or in the middle of something else that might be happening.  Not her fault at all, so I endure. Must be worse for her of course.

Hey, speaking of communication as I was.  I mentioned that was not one of the things they do well here. Here’s an example that happened only today.

Needed a locksmith and so last Saturday I called a place the wife’s mom used years ago. There was an old receipt here from the last time they were here which was 2005.  So I called Sat. and was told they could get here at 1pm on Monday. Today.  No problem I said. We’ll be here.  So 1:05pm rolls around and I’m thinking hey, late is okay but shouldn’t they at least call. But no. At 1:31pm there was nobody here and no call either.  So I called and cancelled the order and they didn’t seem to care at all.  Called another locksmith and they were out here in an hour.  It’s happened to us in Calif. too so I’m not picking on the Brits here. But it has happened more often here in the years we’ve been living in this house, than in 20 yrs in TN,KY and Calif.

Mother died after birth as staff were ‘too busy’ to carry out tests

A mother died hours after giving birth to twins because medical staff were “too busy” to check her potassium levels, which were dangerously high, an inquest heard.

By Telegraph reporters


Sarah Dunlop, 35, of Northampton, suffered a fatal heart attack after her boys were delivered at Northampton General Hospital in June last year.

Hours after giving birth by caesarean section, she suffered kidney failure before going into cardiac arrest.

An inquest heard that the heart attack was caused by high levels of potassium in her blood, which medical staff failed to act upon.

Her potassium levels had risen throughout her pregnancy but on the day of her labour, doctors misread test results.

When they eventually sent her for heart tests, there were delays as two scanners failed and another had a flat battery.

Staff also missed symptoms of pre-eclampsia even though Mrs Dunlop had suffered from the condition during a previous pregnancy, the inquest was told.

It was also claimed that she was given a dangerous combination of painkillers that should never be given to pregnant women.

Hours after the birth of her twin sons, Mrs Dunlop’s kidneys failed and she began haemorrhaging. Minutes later she went into cardiac arrest, and despite efforts to resuscitate her, she died.

Thomas Osborne, the coroner, said her death could have been avoided if her high potassium levels had been detected earlier. Recording a narrative verdict, he said: “There was a failure on the part of clinical staff to recognise the serious nature of her condition that resulted in the failure to take the necessary steps to treat her condition.

“She continued to deteriorate and suffered a cardiac arrest and despite attempts at resuscitation, she died at 10.34pm.”

The twins were delivered at 12.40pm on July 11 last year, and Mrs Dunlop was moved to the observation area of the labour ward. The inquest, in Northampton, heard that her urine was not tested and her blood tests were not analysed properly after she was transferred from the labour unit. By the time she started haemorrhaging nothing could be done for her.

Dr Rina Panchal told the inquest that she notified senior colleagues of the abnormal levels of potassium but the labour ward was “extremely busy” that day.

It meant there was a delay in ordering an electrocardiogram (ECG) heart scan. Joanne Romecin, senior midwife, also repeatedly expressed her concerns and eventually carried out the scans but two scanners failed and one had a flat battery.

When a scan was finally completed the printout results — which the inquest heard could have saved Mrs Dunlop’s life — could not be read and it had to be repeated.

Owen Cooper, the consultant who led an initial investigation into the death, said: “There were failings. I’m not going to defend it. We let this woman down.”

Following the inquest, Dr Sonia Swart, medical director at the hospital, said: “We offer our deepest sympathies to Sarah’s family and we are very sorry for the failings in the care that were identified in our own investigation.”


Posted by peiper    United Kingdom   on 11/19/2012 at 02:25 PM   
  1. 35 years dead and 2 orphans to boot. That’s the kind of care I want and I want it NOW. Oh, right, we get Obamacare here soon so Yay Us. Just Kill Me Now!

    Posted by Rich K    United States   11/20/2012  at  06:11 AM  
  2. Minority staff will not hesitate to ignore a white patient.  Imho.

    Posted by grayjohn    United States   11/20/2012  at  03:57 PM  
  3. >>It gets much worse from there and I bet the same sad story in the USA as well.

    Not yet. Soon.

    Posted by larryr    United States   11/20/2012  at  10:44 PM  
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