Jul 20 2011 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge
A CONCERNED brother has hit out over his sister’s medical treatment at Monklands Hospital.
Robert Doyle’s sister, Winifred McAllister, was left with horrific scarring on her hand following an infection at the insertion site of an intravenous drip.
He claims that staff at the hospital were negligent in caring for his sister.
The 31-year-old of Park Street in Coatbridge claims that the care of his 36-year-old sister was strewn with a catalogue of errors and incompetence.
Worried family members repeatedly highlighted a problem with her hand but according to Robert, staff failed to act with the urgency required.
The Coatbridge man is hoping that highlighting his sister’s case will prevent it happening to another patient.
Robert told the Advertiser: “My sister was taken into hospital at the start of March so that blood tests could be carried out as she was suffering from abdominal pain.
She ended up waiting for almost four weeks for the tests.
“I went up to visit one afternoon and she was complaining that her hand was sore where the venflon drip had been inserted and I noticed it was really swollen.
“I took my concern to the nurses station and asked them twice while I was there if they could look at it, they said as soon as they got the chance they would.
“My dad went back up at visiting time that night and she was still complaining and still no one had looked at it.
“About seven hours passed before someone actually had a look at it.”
Having read a leaflet on the warning signs associated with venflons, Robert was concerned that nursing staff seemed unperturbed by the inflammation, he added: “My family brought it to their attention four times before they even had a look at it.
“If it had been dealt with sooner then this may not have happened.
“It’s been a complete farce and to be honest they are trying to sweep it under the carpet.”
Winifred was eventually diagnosed with cellulitis but according to Robert, she was discharged with large purple blisters on her hand and a course of antibiotics.
The condition of her hand deteriorated and on visiting the pharmacist to collect the remainder of her course of medication she was advised to go to her GP, who referred her to hospital.
She had developed necrotic tissue and a plastic surgeon was invited to examine her hand, it was x-rayed to ensure the infection hadn’t spread into the bone.
Winifred was then informed that the dead tissue would have to be surgically removed.
According to Robert, despite then being prescribed further antibiotics, only one dose was administered and Winifred had to wait almost three days to be given the next dose intravenously.
Robert added: “Cellulitis is a dangerous condition that can spread rapidly.
“The warning signs were there and staff did nothing about it even when we pointed it out.
“They’ve given us nothing but excuses, including staff shortages, but that doesn’t wash with me.”
Robert also brought it to the attention of nursing staff that his sister’s medical notes folder actually contained someone else’s files. They remained in his sister’s case notes for four days.
An NHS Lanarkshire spokesperson said: “We aim to provide the highest standard of care to our patients and we regret any instance where they may feel we have not met this standard.
“We cannot discuss the detail of individual cases due to patient confidentiality. However we can confirm that we are aware of this case and we have offered to meet with the family to discuss their concerns with them directly.”