its not as bad as it looks

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
hello everyone

some of you may know my mum is in a dementia ward at a local hospital, comming home 2 days a week, some 3 weeks ago she fell out of bed in the middle of the night the morning shift came on and called a doctor who turned up 6 hours later the bruises are just starting to fade, yesterday she fell again the morning shift called a doctor who again turned up after 4pm in the afternoon, we were told its not as bad as it looks:eek:
ive posted a picture of my poor mum who also has conjunctivitis in the affected eye from the last fall.
we were going to take it further the last time but they seemed to have a answer for everything, the same as this time.... accidents will happen.
we havent decided what to do about this fall yet... is there anything we can do?
i feel so angry yet so helpless as to what to do.
not sure if anybody can give me any answers but i just wanted to get it off my chest, thanks for listening
donna x
 

Attachments

angela.robinson

Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
520
78
Donna ,that Is Heartbreaking To See , You Think They Are In A Safe Place , But Still They Sustain These Injuries , I Can Only Suggest You Talk It Over With Pals If They Have Them At This Hospital ,
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I don't blame you for being hopping mad - I would be too.

Unfortunately the reality of the situation is - what can be done to stop these falls?

If she's falling out of bed: are they using cot sides? If so, is she climbing over them? (my mother did that on one hospital stay)

If they're not using cot-sides (perhaps because she climbs over them) they should be either placing her matress on the floor, or putting padding on the floor.

If she's falling at other times - well unfortunately, the options to stop that could be pretty bad as well: essentially restraints either physical of chemical - neither of which I would be happy with.

So I think you should find out exactly when these falls are occurring if you haven't already. I would also be inclined to make a formal written complaint: I don't care if they have a good (verbal) answer for everything - they should be prepared to put the whole thing down in writing.

Jennifer
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Donna

I'm not surprised you're so angry. Your poor mum. She shouldn't have to suffer like that.

I don't know what you can do about it. I would suggest the first step would be to ask for a copy of their complaints procedure. Others will have more ideas.

I do hope you can get something sorted out.

Love and hugs,
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
thanks angela x
its something i should have done the last time she fell, i dont think i can let this one go though but its something that dad needs to be agreeable to as well.
will keep you updated
donna x
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
jenniferpa said:
Unfortunately the reality of the situation is - what can be done to stop these falls?

Our local hospital, after a great deal of pressure from carer groups, has bought a number of ultra-lo beds for use with dementia patients. These are apparently only six inches off the floor, so the possibilities for injury are minimised.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Skye said:
Our local hospital, after a great deal of pressure from carer groups, has bought a number of ultra-lo beds for use with dementia patients. These are apparently only six inches off the floor, so the possibilities for injury are minimised.
Yes! Let's hear it for people (or rather carer) power.

Jennifer
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
thanks jennifer and skye for your answers,

the last time she fell it was out of bed as with this time i think.
they wont put sides up becouse its more dangerous for her if she climbed over them, they wont or cant restrain any of the "patients" in the ward as its against hospital rules and they cannot restrain?
something we did ask about the last time.
the last time we asked about having a matteress on the floor they said that could be dangerous becouse she might fall over it:eek:
it seems to be in the early hours she falls becouse its always the morning shift that has to deal with it, i think they just put mum back to bed, they did the last time and as it was a sunday, it was monday before she had an x ray, she hasnt had a x ray this time just been looked over by the doctor.
i dont feel im doing enough to help her, is it us her family that is letting her down or the health system?
donna x
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
dmc said:
.
i dont feel im doing enough to help her, is it us her family that is letting her down or the health system?
Donna love, you know the answer to that one! Your mum is in hospital because she needs care, and you have the right to expect that she will receive it.

You are not letting her down in any way. You have done your best for her, and if you can't trust the professionals it's a poor show.

Don't ever feel guilty. It's not your fault.

Love,
 

mel

Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
1,656
63
Sheffield
Hi Donna
first of all Donna....it isn't you who's letting your mum down.....don't even think about that!!!!
I really do think that after 2 falls in quick succession like this they have to do something.........
I just don't know what to tell you to do.....you've had good advice I think about PALS, making a formal complaint/putting your concerns in writing......
If its any help......I'm sending my love and a big hug to you and your family
Love Wendy xxxx
 

Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
That looks mighty painful

Oh Donna, your poor mum’s face, that must be flipping painful, and you must be so very upset.

I would ask to see mum’s nursing notes to see how frequently she is checked during the night. Do you know if they witnessed mum falling out of bed, or did they discover mum on the floor, and if so, do they know how long she had been there, if she was KO’d, and are they positive she has no fractures/concussion.

It is not unreasonable to expect mum to be cared for in such a manner that she does not cause harm to herself, if that means putting a mattress on the floor by night, then so be it.

With regard to the doctor turning up hours later, this is unacceptable. Until she was examined they had no clear indication of her injuries, she may have had a fracture, and or concussion. I think I would still be included to request an X-ray is taken to rule out any fractures.

I would definitely put in a formal complaint, whatever the reason; it’s just not good enough. Along with your complaint, I would enclose a copy of the photograph of mum.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable for each hospital to have at least one of the low beds that Skye was referring to. I am sure the medical staff would prefer looking after patients like your mum with the right kind of equipment. Sadly it’s down to the man who holds the purse strings, and unless folk complain, they will hang onto that purse with an iron fist.

Hope mum feels better soon, and you too.

Love
Cate
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
thanks again for your replies xx

as mum is home now till friday we wont do anything but im taking in all your suggestions and will talk them through with dad tomorrow.
thanks everyone
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
What Hazel said!

The falling out of bed issue is one of the most difficult things to solve. However, that's as a private individual, not as the NHS!

There's a very intersting report on the NPSA site (National Patient Safety Agency) about falls in hospital. It highlights the fact that while many hospitals have got themselves twisted up in knots about the possibility of someone dying due to entanglement, they have for the most part ignored the very real danger of someone dying from falling out of bed! In fact more people die from falling out of bed with bed rails down than do from falling out of bed with bed rails raised and bed rail entanglement combined!

Having said all that, you're obviously more concerned about your mother's well-being than stupid policy decisions. The main recommendation that the above document makes is what Hazel mentioned: ultra-low beds. I think you and your father are going to have to be very aggressive about this: the squeaky wheel really does get the grease, and without a change in practice she could be seriously hurt. If she slept on a matress on the floor, would she be able to rise without assistance (or should I say, would she try too)? I know Englands not a particularly litigious society, but I have to say, I'd be seriously considering going to law over this: unforunately, that's the biggest stick you can raise to get changes made (it's not how it should be , but it is).

Gosh - I'm really cross on your behalf, primarily because my mother's series of falls from bed in both home and hospital settings have left her unable to get out of bed.

Jennifer
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
hi jennifer

thanks so much for your post, im going to talk to dad tomorrow on what we need to do next there is quite a few issues were not happy with and as this fall comes only weeks after the last one, its just not good enough.
unfortunately i wasnt there yesterday when dad went to visit so i havent heard first hand the circumstances of the fall but as soon as i take her back, im going to want to hear it for myself.
i will keep you all informed as to what happens next hopefully things will change for the better but i wont hold my breath:rolleyes:
thanks xxxx
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
dmc said:
it seems to be in the early hours she falls
Hi Donna - just caught up with your thread - so sorry at what has happened. Nothing much to add to all that has already been said - except to pick up on the above ...... and ask what monitoring is going on for mum at these particular times?
Are they pinpointing why it might happen at this time and not others? Or is it that she is being better monitored at other times so there are staff available to prevent it? ...... You get my drift ......

Hugest hugs to you (and dad), Karen, x
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
hi all

thanks karen for your post x

just a quick update, as mum is home for a few days the carers boss came today with the OT they were horrified at mums face and they are going to look into it, and get back my to dad today,
i will see what they will have to say later, if im not satisfied dad is agreeable to take it further.
take care all xx
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,048
Kent
Dear Donna, I`ve been reading the posts about your mum but was so shocked by the photo, words failed me.

My mother used to fall out of bed, had lots of carpet burns, but nothing as bad as that.

Thank goodness the OT and the carers boss realized her bruising was something to be alarmed about and are prepared to investigate.

I hope there`s no repeat.

Take care
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
thanks GG

we were prepared to let the first one go as accident but to happen again just three weeks later there is no excuse i hope i have some good news later on will keep you informed.
donna xxxx
 

dmc

Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
1,157
well we didnt get the phone call so i expect we will have to wait till next week now before anything is done, im still going to write a letter of complaint over the weekend so at least i'll feel as if were doing something.

we took mum back to the hospital tonight, the staff nurse who was on duty when mum fell came over to us to explain what had happened!! well thats a first,
apparently when she checked mum she was fast asleep she walked out of the room into the corridor and heard the bang that was my mum hitting the floor.

what she thinks is that mum wakes up and tries to put her slippers on and just falls forward, we made it known that we were very unhappy about it, and that twice in 3 weeks is just not on...
and that yet again it had taken the doctor the best part of 6+ hours to check her out, and that there was no x-ray taken only the doctors word.
we didnt get any answers.
donna xxx

p.s hope everyone has a peacefull easter x
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,048
Kent
Thanks for the update Donna, but it`s not good enough is it. If you`re waiting for a phone call that doesn`t come, they should at least show you the courtesy of letting you know no conclusion has yet been made, or something like that.
And if there was a `bang` as your mum hit the floor, I would say that warrants an xray.