"Not enough information"
About: The Whittington Hospital The Whittington Hospital London N19 5NF
Posted by Jane Cox
Sadly my mother died on the morning of Tuesday 22 April in Whttington Hospital. She was having problems breathing which she had had last year when she was treated at Chase Farm Hospital for fluid on the lungs and was up and about and off the oxygen after a week or two. It was not to be this time and I don't feel that adequate information was given to me on the severity of her condition. She was admitted to Whittington Hospital late on 10 April and given oxygen and water tablets. I had assumed incorrectly that the problem was the same as before, fluid on the lungs and she would get better in a few days. I was never told otherwise. She seemed to pick up over the week but a doctor rang me on the Friday before she died, a week after she was admitted, to say she was not doing too well and again on the Sunday when I was told that there was not much more they could do as she was on the highest level of oxygen she could be given which didn't seem to be enough. They could only ‘make her comfortable’. Mum had also had a urethral catheter fitted which, on two occasions, had blood in the tube. I mentioned this to the nurse who said 'nothing to worry about'. The day before she died when I asked the nurse why she was being given antibiotics I was stunned when she mentioned pneumonia, again I was unaware that mum had pneumonia. I think if someone is that ill, family should be made aware from the outset and not a day or two before they pass away that there is little that can be done. Mum suffered so much towards the end and must have been very frightened. Although they tried to make her comfortable, she was struggling to breathe and died in my arms.