"Lack of assessment and diagnostic skills results in years of severe pain for elderly paitent."
Posted by Rocky (as ),
My 84 year old mother was a “frequent visitor' to ED Port Lincoln Hospital, occasionally being admitted over the past 2 years with severe pain (l) chest pain and upper abdominal pain. Overseen by her long term GP she was flown to Adelaide for a Coronary Angiogram which revealed normal coronary arteries and no indications of heart failure or any other cardiac disorder. Once cardiac disease was ruled out, the next step was to admit her for an Endoscopy / Colonscopy with expectations of confirming abdominal hernia (causing her excruciating pain requiring regular Endone, Fentanyl patches and various analgesic agents). Seemingly nil abnormalities were diagnosed, mum could not eat, was in constant pain (as documented, I believe, daily by her carers who applied patches or lotions with no apparent affect). Subsequent arrivals in ED were met by the doctors and nurses who attended my mother with Dr. comments such as 'not you again! ' or from some of the ward nurses seeing my mother, 'C'mon.....lets get you out of bed and doing something rather than whinging in bed' etc. Eventually a newly appointed GP called in a local Physician after all these agonising years ...he took one look at her and her PMH (which seemed to not have been obviously was NEVER considered previously); organised immediate transfer to Royal Adelaide Hospital where she underwent bronchoscopy / thoracotomy and was diagnosed within 12 hours with end stage advanced mesothelioma. After enduring an unsuccessful attempt at radiotherapy and extensive pain management she was transferred to a high acuity nursing home and died within 7 weeks. Her documented PMH of Asbestos Exposure in Wittenoom Gorge 1960-2 in all medical records and various correspondence between healthcare members, was, I believe, NEVER considered.....it took the local physician 10 mins to consider this a likelihood based on her history.