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Hospital is criticised over bedsore death
8:34am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
A CORONER hit out at Southend Hospital staff after hearing a woman died from bedsores.
Yvonne Blake said she hoped to never hear of a similar incident again, after delivering a narrative verdict into the death of Molly Etty, 84.
Miss Etty, who lived with her niece, Lynda Clifford, in Marcos Road, Canvey, died in agony at a care home following her stay at the hospital in Prittlewell Chase, after developing bedsores which exposed her spine.
She had only gone into hospital for a hip operation.
The coroner said: “There were shortcomings in her care. I don’t want to see any more of this.”
Miss Etty was admitted to hospital on July 8, 2011, after she fell at home and needed a hip replacement.
A referral was made for her to see a specialist nurse, but it was three days before she was examined.
On July 25, Miss Etty went on a brief visit home with two occupational therapists for them to assess her requirements for when she was discharged from hospital.
It was then that the severity of the former pharmaceutical assistant’s condition was discovered by her niece.
Although the sore continued to worsen to grade three severity (five being the worst), Miss Etty was discharged to a care home, where she died on September 7.
Mrs Clifford spoke to the Echo after her aunt’s death and said the way she was treated was “horrific”.
Mrs Clifford said: “The care home staff were fantastic and did everything they could to try and make my aunt comfortable.
“However, by this point the sore had become so deep and infected and she cried in pain as it was re-dressed.
“It was horrific to see her suffer so much, but there was nothing I could do because the wound had been left untreated for so long.
“Florence Nightingale said one of the first things nurses should learn is how to deal with the elderly and infirm.
“Molly couldn’t move herself very well, so I can’t understand why she wasn’t immediately put on a special mattress.
“They need to get back to basic standards of nursing. It shouldn’t have happened in this day and age.”
Delivering a narrative verdict, Assistant Coroner Blake said: “Miss Etty fractured her hip which was successfully operated on. She developed a sacral pressure sore and her septicaemia.
She was discharged from hospital to a care home where she died.”
The family of Miss Etty received an out-of-court payment of £20,000 from the hospital, earlier this year.
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