"Care of my elderly Mum who had stopped breathing"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

My Mum arrived by ambulance at A and E on Wednesday night.

We were eating supper in a local pub and she became unwell.

The A and E dept was very busy but Mum was taken straight in as she had stopped breathing for some time and was being ventilated.

All the doctors and support staff were very kind, calm and kept me informed all along. The paramedics stayed for a while and one of those lovely paramedics helped me decide if I should call my daughter (who was at work, as a paramedic, somewhere in the area) or not.

This was very helpful because they know what is best because when you are in great confusion, sometimes you don't make the right decisions.

My daughter arrived with her senior and told me she was very glad I did call her.

We spent the next few hours with my Mum (her nana) waiting for signs to change etc.

All along, she was being monitored and I now realise how helpful it is to be able to give the doctors a comprehensive symptoms and history which helps them so much.

I was shown to the side room where families can wait if they choose and from time to time doctors came in to let me know what was happening.

Eventually, it was time to make a decision as to whether I wished Mum to go up to intensive care and be kept going, or to allow her to die peacefully.mmthe doctors explained everything.

There was a 5 hour wait announced over the tannoy so I knew the department was extremely busy yet no one hurried us into making a decision and when we asked to be allowed some time, with Mummy before they allowed her to slip away, they at no time hurried us or kept coming in, except for an occasional peel to see we were OK.

When we were ready to say goodbye to my Mum, and my daughters nana, we told the staff and the doctors came in and asked us to wait outside.

Being a paramedic, my daughter asked more questions than me including what drugs etc were being used and she was very happy with the treatment her nana had and together, we watched my Mum slip away peacefully.

When we were ready, we indicated to the staff we wanted to leave now and we waited in the side room for the doctor to come and talk with us and give us a booklet on what to do when someone dies.

This was very helpful (although the booklet is a bit out of date regarding a telephone number in it).

A massive thank you to all the staff on in A and E on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, you are greatly appreciated.

I have made some fruit cakes and will be delivering them shortly.

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Responses

Response from Darent Valley Hospital

Dear Sharon

Please accept our sincere condolences at the loss of your mother and thank you for taking the time to write this review, especially at such a sad time for your whole family. It makes us very proud to read reviews commenting on how compassionate and caring our staff are towards both their patients and families. Your kind words have been passed onto the A&E team who are very much looking forward to the fruit cake.

Best wishes

The Communications Team

Darent Valley Hospital

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