"How could we get such differing survival rates?"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Colorectal surgery

(as a relative),

My grandfather, was taken to North Devon District Hospital with a perforated bowel. Upon being admitted through A&E a junior gastroenterologist said that with his heart condition, he had only a 5% chance of surviving the surgery, However, with the bowel condition, he would continue to emit faeces into his body and get worse. So, he refused to give the surgery, opting for antibiotics to fight any infection.

I explained that as a lay First Responder, arriving at someone in cardiac arrest, I have around (at 8 mins post collapse) a 5% chance of restarting the heart, how can he be in the same category as someone who is already dead? I was refused the opportunity, even though I asked, to speak to the senior gastroenterologist consultant. We were sent home.

2 days later, he was rushed back into A&E by ambulance. Thankfully, this time, the senior consultant was the first to see him, and agreed he must have the surgery, quoting an 80% chance of surviving the surgery.

How can two doctors have such different opinions? He survived and is fit and well, thanks to the second Dr.

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Silverdisco

I was very sorry to read of your grandfathers recent experience, and I fully acknowledge how anxious you must have been at the time, given your role as a rapid responder. I am however very pleased to see that your grandfather has undergone surgery and made a full recovery.

I would welcome the opportunity to look into your concerns further - and would ask that you contact the PALs department on 01271 314090 who will be able to discuss your concerns in more detail and support you further.


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