About: St James's University Hospital St James's University Hospital Leeds LS9 7TF
Posted by sweetthing
When my husband was admitted to A & E for severe breathing problems (COPD/Bronchiectasis) the treatment he received was excellent until he was moved to a (holding ward), it was about 11 pm and I went with him to get him settled. The nurse took the medication they wanted from him and gave me the rest back. His oxygen was on at 2 LPM and he was due for his Nebuliser treatment, he uses it six times per day and when I went to the machine, there was no mask, no tubing and no saline for it, I had to go looking for the nurse and told her he needed to use the nebuliser, she told me, 'it is at the side of the bed' I told her it is no use without a mask and tubing, so she went and got me them, I asked for the saline to put in it and she said, the pharmacy will be closed, I said you must have some on the ward somewhere. She managed to find me some and I got him on it. What worries me is that if I had not been there, he was left to get off the trolley bed and into his ward bed on his own, his oxygen is 2 LPM at rest but on any kind of exertion he had been told by the respiratory team to up it to 4 LPM until it settles down and then lower back to 2 LPM. I told the nurse this and she said 'well I haven't got the notes yet', so with the oxygen being set at 2 LPM and trying to get on the bed he could not breathe and his sats dropped right down and he wet himself (a condition called lightening) which lightens the body of the COPD patient . I cleaned it up with paper towels and the nurse brought some towels to finish it off. Also the call button was wrapped around the bed head and no way could he have reached it, he is 6 ft 4 ins tall and I had to ask for the bed to be made longer and then I had to find a pillow to stick in the gap. If I had not gone in with him he would have been left to his own devices, he would have been soaked with urine, could not reach the call button, have a bed that was not long enough and he also could not reach the remote to lift the bed head up as a COPD patient cannot sleep flat on their backs. He would not have had a nebuliser either. They should have made sure he had everything he needed when they took him on the ward. nebuliser on, remote at hand, call button at hand, oxygen sats checked to ensure he was on the correct oxygen flow but no, it was left to me to ask. I am his carer, and thank god I know exactly what I was doing. He said, if I have to go in again I want you with me until I get settled. Someone kindly brought him a cup of tea at 12 o'clock for which he was very grateful, then at 5 am he had another breathing 'do' and luckily enough there was a doctor just outside of the ward and they took charge. You do a fantastic job but when it is late evening and you are short-staffed, it is absolutely terrifying to think that you could be admitted with breathing problems and there is no one around to help you. You cannot call out, as you cannot breathe and you cannot get to the call button.