"My mother in law's care in her final days"

About: Hillingdon Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

Hello. My mother in law was in her 60s and had smoked for many years despite having asthma and developing emphysemia. She had cut down considerably, smoking e-cigarettes instead in recent months.

She was admitted to hospital last month, with pneumonia in one lung, which had mostly cleared in about a week so they sent her back to her care home. The next day she was re-admitted because it had gone to her other lung.

She was initially on antibiotics and the strongest oxygen mask that they had, but she refused the mask after 24 hours (because it was painful and she suffered from panic attacks) and chose a less pressured one. They said it didn't look hopeful but that they couldn't give her a sedative to help her keep the strongest mask on because it might "send her on her way".

The antibiotics were stopped and her fluid drip not replaced. They just gave her palliative care but her lips and mouth were very dry. She hadn't eaten properly in 2 days. Her blood oxygen level showed above 80% but they said that there wasn't anything more that they could do for her.

My partner stayed with his mother for 3 days watching her condition degenerate painfully. He and his relatives didn't see a dr for 2 out of those 3 days. He was told that there were only 2 drs in the hospital for the weekend and that they were focussed on the A & E department.

She died a couple of days later. Should she have just been left to die, which is what seems to have happened?

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››