"My Dad died from Necrotizing Fasciitis - did he catch it from hospital?"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in may 2008. He was addmitted into the Blackburn Royal Infirmary on in Feb 2009 due to needing blood transfusions, was dehydrated and had continuing leg pain due to the reoccurring cancer.

For a whole week my Dad was left and nothing seemed to be happening. None of the nurses could give us any answers as they kept saying the were waiting for the next Dr. Finally after a week, blood transfusions and rehydrating him began.

He became very weak and looked terrible by this time. A week after admission he celebrated his 56th birthday. The following day he had fallen in the bathroom, the slight swelling on his leg we noticed a day ago travelled from hip to knee. They sent him for a scan, later that night we had a call to go to the hospital as he was struggling to come around from the morphine and it did not look good.

Finally that evening he came around slowly. The next few days he was dazed, weak and very confused. The results came from the swollen leg, serveral doctors came and as relayed back to us from the nurses it was thought from doctor A it was cellulitis, doctor B said it was re-occuring cancer and another said it was an infection. Myself and my sister did not have a clue what was going on - none of the nurses seemed to know either. We presumed that it was an infection as he was having antibiotics.

My father called on the Friday after speaking with his doctors and nurses and rang to say 'he was going into a hospice to die'. Heartbroken we went to see him, and due to his confusion and lack of knowledge of what was going on we thought and was told they were sending him in to control his pain relief and just thought he had got it wrong.

Just prior to this date we asked for a meeting with the doc' which we never got. Over the weekend up to the tuesday my dad was in agony, very out of it and we knew something was very wrong, at this point all we knew was he was going in to the hospice and eventually he got admitted in early March.

Pendleside Hospice was excellent, we had chance to speak to the doctor who told us he had days left. Sadly, and fortunately for him, his suffering came to a end on 6th march. It was not until we picked up the death certificate that we came across "Necrotizing Fasciitis" as the 2nd out of three causes of death. It was written he had had it for eight days prior. This is very rare but is also linked to cancer patients and can be caught through many things, blood transfusion being one. Some people have also mentioned it is a bug that can be found in hospitals and we desperately need some answers.

To fairly say, the ward was not the cleanest as we took our small children and occasionally wiping the floor after them, notice the black gritty dirt on the towel. Strep A causes the disease above and as my dad had no immune system had no chance of fighting it. It is also the cause of sore throats to which myself and three other family members who visited the hospital all suffered with after visiting.

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