Dorothy died hours after discharge from hospital

By by Mel Wright in Health

The treatment of an 87-year-old woman at Noble’s Hospital has compelled her ’shocked’ family to file an official complaint with the hospital.

At midnight on January 30, Dorothy Edge was taken by ambulance from her home in Ballafesson, near Port Erin, to hospital after she coughed up blood.

After a short time in A&E, she was sent home in a freezing January night - despite requests from relatives she be kept in for observation - and died a few hours later at home alone.

Shocked at several aspects of her aunt’s treatment, her niece Margaret Saunders has filed an official complaint with the hospital and has raised it with Health Minister Kate Beecroft MHK.

Margaret said her aunt Dorothy was a kind Manx woman who ’never bothered anybody’.

Dorothy suffered from oesophageal cancer and had a stent fitted a week before the haemorrhage to help with her swallowing.

Margaret, who lives in Colby, said: ’I was over there (at Dorothy’s house) at 11.20pm on January 30. She was coughing up blood. I rang the ambulance. It came at midnight. They took her in.

’I rang the hospital at 1.15am and 2.10am they said "Come now". I went in and was there at 3am. It was a cold night, they were not busy in A&E.

’I said: "Are you not keeping her for observation?" I was told by someone, I think it was a nurse: "If you want us to keep her in it will cost you £2,500".

’She was on a trolley. She lived on her own.

’As we left, a doctor shouted from the door "just call the doctor if there are problems". The house was cold when we got in. We had a cup of tea. I left her at 4.30am, at 10.30am I went back, she had haemorrhaged and was dead.

’It might have happened anyway, but at 87, she was a Manx old lady going home at that time of night. I’m annoyed they did not keep her in for observation, things might have been different.

I know things are not perfect, but she never bothered anybody, she died on her own and that shocked me. I feel I have to complain for her.’

The Department of Health and Social Care said: ’The department is investigating the case and remains in contact with the patient’s family. No further public comment would be appropriate at this time.’

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Summerday · 150 days ago · Report

Sad though it is there was very little the staff could do. Why was she not in the hospice? Maybe she wanted to die at home? Years ago, her family doctor would have been called, she would have been made comfortable and nature would have taken its course. The issue is the care of people such as this lady who should have died with dignity instead of being passed from one place to another.

Omobono · 154 days ago · Report

Very sad situation and one that requires investigation

Bechmond · 160 days ago · Report

Farage is correct... Best to strip away the emotional element and examine it for what it is. This is a hell of a poor outcome no matter who the patient was; it should be investigated fully and not whitewashed as so many things are on the IOM. If fault or negligence is apportioned to the Hospital or it's staff the lawyers should give the Health Service a "spanking" to remember... Get them in the wallet it's the only thing they understand

Mosses · 163 days ago · Report

There appears to be an ominous silence from the Minister on quality improvement and Total Quality systems in the health services. The Examiner article will at least, require the Minister to give more frequent updates, being open on problems and the ongoing efforts to address the concerns of patients, their carers and workers in the services.

Steve Taylor · 164 days ago · Report

It's just so sad to think that this elderly citizen of our ended her final days like this; a commodity with a cost per night rather than a lovely Manx lady with a story to tell, deep routes in our land and deserving of our best care. We all hope for the best care, particularly as we face our final years and to have our faith in the system shattered by stories like this is sad, unsettling and concerning. Who is going to reassure us that this terrible situation won't happen again?

Phil · 164 days ago · Report

You are reading between the lines there Fan1. Nurses don't get to set the hospital rates. I doubt most of them even know what they are. That aside, this is an ongoing hospital investigation so not sure why this newspaper thought it a good idea to print half a story. Better to have waited until the outcome

Fan1 · 165 days ago · Report

Phil, clearly they were saying that in their "opinion" she was fit to go home, and if the family insisted that she was kept in then she would be admitted privately at a cost of £2500.00.

Mad-Manx · 165 days ago · Report

Basically the hospital staff could not be bothered and sent her home. She ended up dying of the very same thing she was brought in for. What disgusting treatment from the hospital! (Regardless of if she was Manx, Irish, Scottish, English etc.).

Phil · 165 days ago · Report

Something doesn't ring true with this story. I have yet to hear a nurse using costs as an excuse. No doubt the truth will out

Sir Nigel Farage · 165 days ago · Report

While I sympathise with this case, is the front page of a newspaper really the best place to have it plastered while investigations are on-going? I also don't see the relevance of the repeated references to her being a 'Manx' old lady. People deserve the same care regardless.

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