Elderly patient left on bedpan for days
KATE BENSON MEDICAL REPORTER
September 4, 2009
AN ELDERLY man is being treated for a life-threatening infection after he was allegedly left on a bedpan for as much as five days in a Sydney hospital, the Herald has learnt.
The man, 80, from Gladesville, was forced to undergo two bouts of surgery after the green pan became embedded in his skin, causing massive ulcers on both buttocks and leaving him with a hole at the base of his spine big enough to fit two fists.
The Herald understands the man, a patient at Concord Repatriation General Hospital since early July, has limited English and was not able to inform staff the bedpan had not been removed. It is believed his family was told of the incident only two weeks after the pan was discovered and his buttocks had become severely infected, requiring surgery to debride the rotting skin.
The man was admitted with pneumonia and spent 19 days in intensive care and about seven days on a cardiac ward but it is believed the pan was discovered after he was transferred to a respiratory ward in early August.
Bed Pan stuck to 80 year olds Bum
The incident raises serious questions about whether the man, who was immobile, had been turned regularly to prevent bedsores, was washed or had his sheets changed during his time on the cardiac ward.
The hospital has refused to answer detailed questions on the case, citing patient confidentiality, but one senior staff member disputed that the man's injury had been caused by a bedpan or that he had been left unattended for up to five days.
He said it was still unclear how the injury had occurred or who had been responsible.
The man has two long incisions on each buttock and a big open sore near his sacrum, but he must sit or lie lay on the damaged areas because his pneumonia prevents him lying on his stomach.
He was moved into a single room with an $8000 mattress yesterday after the Herald contacted the hospital.
A spokesman for Sydney South West Area Health Service said the hospital was taking the claims seriously and had apologised to the family for any distress caused.
''The possibility of a patient being left on a bedpan for the length of time suggested is implausible. Patients who are confined to bed are regularly and routinely turned and provided with pressure-relieving treatment to prevent bedsores,'' the spokesman said.
Lillian Jeter, from the Elder Abuse Prevention Association, said the case appeared to be one of ''severe negligence''.
''If this allegation is true, this man was subjected to significant elder abuse and mistreatment in a public place where he should have been getting care.''
The best third world Nationalised Health system in the world bar NONE.
Attention Americans, Australia’s Medi DONT Care,why would you think Hussein’s Obama Care would ?
When they no longer NEED you Socilist’s no longer see any need to FEED you