Another hospital visit!!

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Philbo, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    741
    Male
    Kent
    My dear wife has been in a nursing home since the end of September and seemed to be getting on okay. However, early on Sunday morning, I got a call to say she was unwell, with very high BP and temperature so they had called 111 and waiting for paramedics. They later told me she was on route to A&E.area

    I arrived at A&E about 10 am and they were just starting her triage, so I filled them in about her dementia etc. Her BP was not as high as the NH's monitor had shown, however, her heart rate was high (135 bpm) and she was really zonked out (well, more than normal). The staff were very attentive and the doctor on duty said it was most likely a urinary infection and she was given IV fluids and IV antibiotics and then moved into the main A&E area.

    After many hours, they were concerned that her heart rate was still high so gave her another high dose of antibiotics via her drip and it started to reduce. Around 4 pm, they at least moved her onto a hospital type bed but said that they couldn't say when she'd be moved to a ward.

    At around 9 pm, I said I needed to go home, but that I was concerned that without me being there when transferred, they wouldn't know about how her dementia affected her abilities. The sister gave me a pen and pad to jot down any pertinent information.

    So I went home and eventually got to sleep, only for the phone to go at 2:30 am!! It was the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) who said my wife was now with them and could I fill them in about her dementia etc!!! No - the notes I'd jotted down hadn't made it.

    Anyhow, the re-hydration, antibiotics etc seemed to be working and she was discharged back to the NH yesterday - took an extra day as they mucked about so much taking follow-up blood tests and getting the doctors to review them, that it was too late to organise the hospital transport in time for the home to accept her.:eek:

    Let's hope she continues to recover - one good thing is that the hospital now have a community GP process where they follow up discharged patients such as my wife for a week or so. When I visited this morning, one of their team was there to check her BP, HR etc. She said she'd be back on Saturday to do a follow-up blood test to make sure the antibiotics (given in liquid form for the next 4 days) are working.

    Fingers crossed.:)
     
  2. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    2,280
    Fingers crossed for you both
    Xx
     
  3. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    741
    Male
    Kent
    Thanks
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,546
    Male
    North Manchester
    Sorry to hear of your recent experience, hope everything is now OK.

    In case anything similar happens in the future you could fill in and print a copy of
    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites...ers-Society_NEW_This-is-me-booklet_190318.pdf
    maybe adding extra sheet(s) with more info.

    This could be kept updated, left at the nursing home to be sent with your wife on any A&E admission and/or retained by you to take to A&E
     
  5. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    167
    Thank you Nitram, a brilliant idea ‘This is Me ‘booklet. If brought into circulation the information could be so helpful to hospital staff. If I’d had known about it, this would have been so useful when my husband was admitted.
    I would be pleased for any advice in printing it out from my iPhone - thank you.
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    2,001
    Female
    I hope your wife is on the mend now, Phil.

    When my mother went into hospital, the hospital themselves gave me a 'this is me' leaflet to fill out. It's a shame all hospitals don't do that. She was in hospital for 12 days and it was left by her bed. But having said that, I am not convinced anyone actually read it. They still made basic mistakes, like failing to prompt and supervise eating and drinking - they just plonked a jug of water near her and then told me she wasn't drinking. 'This is me' is only any help if the staff actually use it!
     
  7. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,546
    Male
    North Manchester
    I know nothing about using Apple products but think printing would require a wireless enabled printer.

    Failing this you could get a free hard copy and xerox as required.
    Scroll down to
    Living with dementia – tools
    This is me (1553)
    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/form/order-free-publications


     
  8. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    359
    Female
  9. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    167
    Nitram, great advice - as usual thank you so much.
     
  10. Lynmax

    Lynmax Registered User

    Nov 1, 2016
    300
    To print a PDF document from your iPhone you will need to have access to a wireless printer and add it under your 'settings'. Then to print, select the little square icon with an arrow sticking out of the top - it's at the top, next to the web address bar. From there you will see a choice of options, one of which is labelled 'print' .
     
  11. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    741
    Male
    Kent
    Thanks for all of your replies.

    My wife does have a "This is Me" booklet that I first created when she originally went in for respite back in July. I updated it to the latest version when she went from there into hospital (UTI) and ended up needing permanent nursing home care. At that time, I must say that it didn't seem to make much difference as she bounced around the hospital system but it is now in the front of her file in her room at the nursing home (and several of her carers have commented on it).

    I believe that the home does have a red bag process although again, I don't think from past experience that it is that effective as far as communicating her needs. Things like medication, DNAR forms etc seem to make it through but as far as the multitude of hospital staff dealing with her needs, I found myself having to repeatedly explain how the dementia affects her.

    In my former work life, amongst other things I was a quality improvement manager (in the telecommunications industry) so to improve things, maybe it should be mandatory that all patients stopping in hospital for say more that 48 hours should have a "This Is Me" booklet at the foot of their bed? And perhaps all staff attending each patient should sign to say they've read it? Fanciful, I know and another burden but something needs to be done.
     

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