Without doubt, when our parent, sibling, grandparent, spouse or friend is in the hospital, we have concerns about their comfort. We worry if they are in pain, whether they are comfortable, and whether the medical personnel are doing their job.
Probably, Linda Moss and her two sisters Patty and Sharon had these questions when their 77-year old father Bob Wilson was hospitalized back in November, 2018. After he fell in the winter and suffered a brain injury, he was recovering in the Joseph Brant Hospital in Ontario, Canada.
The daughters have been taking turns in keeping their father company, holding his hands, and hoping. But, what they discovered left them in shock.
Namely, in April, their father was transferred to the Hamilton General Hospital to undergo cranial surgery. There, the doctors informed his daughters about a bedsore on their father’s buttocks which has eroded his flesh to the bone.
The daughters were shocked, but never something was wrong at the Burlington hospital.
They saw black and rotting skin and were so sad to see that their father was rotting alive without them having any clue. They would never want for another family to go through what they are.
What’s more, the professional team at the Hamilton hospital had never seen something like this sore. Due to the major infection, his body became septic, i.e. the infection has spread into the blood. This causes low blood pressure and poor blood flow to major organs and tissues.
The Hope Has Been Lost?
The infection from the wound went into the blood and bones and the doctors informed his family that Bob can die from this infection. But, believe it or not, he is not alone and the numbers are concerning.
Namely, there were more than 10,000 cases in Ontario hospitals in a year and more than 24,000 in care homes.
What Was the Response from the Hospital?
Because of privacy laws, a representative told that they cannot talk about individual cases. What they did say is that the hospital is doing reviews on care quality and searching for opportunities to lower the chance for further similar problems and better the hospital’s performance.
The president of the hospital, Eric Vandewall, personally apologized to the patient and his family for the unfortunate situation. They are now conducting an investigation into Wilson’s care and will meet with his family to share and talk about the results from their review.
Bed Sores & How Dangerous They Are
Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers, are skin and tissue injuries triggered by ongoing skin pressure. Usually, they appear on bony parts like buttocks, hips, tailbone, heels, spine, shoulder blades, head, etc.
Some of the major symptoms include changes in the texture and color of the skin, swelling, pus, tender areas, and cooler or warmer areas to the touch. For his daughters, the most heartbreaking thing is that he could lose his life because of something that could have been prevented, not because of a serious brain surgery.
The family is speaking about their story in order to raise awareness for others who have family members in hospitals.