"There seemed to be a lack of duty of care."

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

(as a relative),

My Mum has had the most horrendous experience last year and the fall out is continuing still. In what was explained to us as a 'simple operation’ & home in a week, has ended in what the surgeon who did the operation said "pretty much everything that could go wrong without your Mum dying....did go wrong and we have no idea what happened”.

What happened:

She was having ‘a simple procedure’ to cut out part of her bowel to remove a cancerous section, apparently a common and easy procedure, but it seems not for an old lady. They re-joined the rest of the bowel with small staples and she was to be home within the week. They performed the surgery and the next day she awoke and was seemingly ok. About 2am the following morning she awoke and wasn’t making any sense to the nursing staff. We found out that later that morning the surgeon called and asked if they could have permission to re-open the surgery wound and check if the join had split, we said yes. The bowel join had split open and she had been marinating in her bowel contents for hours. This meant, that her whole body was in a massive septicemic shock and the poison had gotten into her blood and was around all her major organs. So we got on the phone and borrowed some money so I could fly to Perth. I was there before she came out of surgery and was there with her 3 times a day for 2 months. My amazing partner looked after our kids and the rent, bills etc in another state.

When I walked into the Intensive Care Unit, I stumbled in shock. There was Mum in a coma with only her heart working on it’s own. She was hooked-up to over 20 machines, from dialysis to blood cleaning, breathing, medicines and a bunch I still have no idea what they do. It looked like something out of the Terminator movies.

Family Fallout:

This experience has smashed us financially, emotionally and health wise not to mention stress levels, I just hope it doesn't affect our kids too much, there are moments where we may not make it thru this as a whole family. I haven't been able to create new income since and any spare money we have has gone to keep Mum's bank accounts from tipping over their overdraft/ credit limits. I have to go back next week for a whole lot of organising of housing and see what government support she can get to help in this massive transition time for Mum.

We are working in every way to create opportunities for her to have good final years, surrounded by her grand-kids and with enough financial and medical support to create life fulfilling experiences, something that she deserves. We need some help, ok a lot of help.

I feel there was negligence shown to send Mum into surgery at her advanced years and treat her like she was 50-60. This decision was made in 2 weeks.

Then to have her come out of surgery and have her blood pressure drop massively and for the next 40 hours no one on the surgery team even thought to check if her bowel had broken open....meant she was marinating in her bowel contents for over 30 hrs and I feel that this negligent lack of duty of care has resulted in her whole life being wrecked.

EG: If you google sepsis or septic shock: Septic shock is a serious medical condition that occurs when sepsis, which is organ injury or damage in response to infection, leads to dangerously low blood pressure and abnormalities in cellular metabolism.

The first thing that comes up is massive drop in blood pressure from infection [sepsis]. So for 40 hours we are told the whole team ran around trying to figure out why mum's blood pressure was so low and the first thing on Google is the answer. The first symptom of Sepsis [what happens if your bowel breaks open or splits]

So why didn't they check the bowel hadn't broken first????

We are still in a crisis and Mum is in her third hospital over 7 mths. She has awakened into a nightmare. One day last year she left her house for a simple operation......to be home in a week.......

I feel that these flippant decisions to go straight to surgery, especially with the older generation, is disgusting. With so much knowledge about cancer and without a life threatening situation, much more assessment and management was required in this instance and we are sure there are many more untold stories.

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