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.’