November 02, 2012

Natural Death Or NHS Blunder?


As you all know my dear old dad died last week.

I mentioned in the comments that there was to be a post mortem. I was told that this was routine for all people afflicted with asbestosis. That post mortem has been performed.

The Chief Coroner has now decided to hold an inquest. Various anomalies emerged from the post mortem. I have not yet seen the report but I hope to get a copy soon. A police liaison officer has been assigned to our family and they (the police) advised us to contact our solicitor post haste.

Somebody, somewhere, is not at all happy with my dad's treatment during his six day stay in hospital.

A senior staff nurse said that she had never seen a patient go from "so healthy to dead" in such a short time span. He was originally admitted for a cough that his GP was concerned about. He went in on the Friday for a course of antibiotics and by Monday the cough had all but disappeared. All of his meds were stopped on admission but by Tuesday he stopped passing urine. He was catherterised but only passed blood, which indicated a kidney problem. Less than 24 hours later he went into renal failure. He was struggling to breathe at 3:30am Wednesday and died at around 10am on the Thursday. A nurse was seen to poke a very long tube down his throat in an effort to clear his lungs. An hour later she administered a drug (via syringe into his stomach) rather than through his saline drip. His breathing improved but he then lost all lucidity and did not open his eyes again until moments before his death. He died in great pain.

The Coroner issued a death certificate yesterday with the cause of death being renal failure. (This allowed him to release my dad's body to the undertaker). My dad's GP (speaking to my mum yesterday) was mystified. He had a kidney function test just three weeks ago and the results were in the normal range.

Obviously, it is far too early to fling accusations around but the question remains: did the nursing team do all they could, or did they drop the ball?

From conversations with various medical professionals, it looks like someone fucked up.

It's difficult enough dealing with a parental death due to natural causes, but to learn that he may have died due to negligence or incompetence is deeply distressing.

Updates as they happen.



microdave said...

"Various anomalies emerged from the post mortem"

In which case I find it rather strange that the coroner has released your dad's body. When my father died last year we knew it was from multiple cancers. We had to have 2 different doctors confirm the cause of death - whether this was because we had decided to have him created, or because we had also agreed on a "DNR" (Do Not Resuscitate) notice previously I can't remember.

Obviously there is no possibility of a subsequent re-examination of the cause after cremation, so I can see the reasoning. But it strikes me that in your case things are not so clear cut. Obviously you don't want things dragging out for a long time, but if there have been doubts expressed as to the actual cause this must make a difference.

We weren't best pleased that my father went from diagnosis to being dead within just 10 days, particularly as a blood test 2 months earlier had shown a "spike" on his liver function, which our doctor didn't think was relevant, so you're not alone in being unhappy at some aspects of the NHS...

Katabasis said...

This prospect is horrendous CR.

I wish I could say it was unlikely in the extreme to be the case that negligence was an issue but my own ever worsening experience of the NHS simply doesn't support that kind of faith. When my girlfriend was in hospital for a borderline serious operation it took me 10 minutes to communicate with the doctor that I was concerned there might be pockets of air in her drip. It took 10 minutes because he could barely communicate in English - luckily it wasn't air, just bubbles of the solution but he was just a negligence case waiting to happen just through lack of communication skills.

I hope you know we'll all back you up or try to help whatever may come Captain.

Captain Ranty said...


I was wondering about that so I asked my GP this morning. (I was in for a follow up on a routine blood test).

He said that they will have videoed and taped everything and they will have gathered plenty of samples should retesting be required.

It's a first for me so I don't know what is usual and what isn't.

Sorry for your loss too.


Captain Ranty said...


Isn't it just?

WTF were these people playing at?

Dad's GP was upset to learn that they stopped all of his prescription meds. Some of which were for his kidneys. He is on the same team really, but he seems ready to bat for my dad, which I am pleased about.

The inquest will hopefully make a determination we can all live with.

But in my experience they are all bent, so I have no candles lit for a 100% truthful disclosure.

I may create a shitstorm if I am not satisfied.


TheBoilingFrog said...


Sorry only just seen the news (thought you'd given up the blogging malarkey)

Condolences to you and your family and RIP to your Dad.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cap'n,

Like I said in the email - life (read death) pathways.

NHS millions for controversial care pathway

It also does seem odd that is there was foul play, the coroner shouldn't have released the body for burial. Like you said, it's bad enough that one should grieve the loss of a loved one and then finding out someone's fucked up in the establishment, people put their trust into helping them.



Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Paul.

I did try to give it up but I enjoy it more than I thought.

Thanks for the kind words.


Captain Ranty said...

Thanks for the link, H.

As I said, I don't know what is normal so I am just reacting to updates from my family day to day.

I'd like a word with the cop who is assigned to us. I'll find out her number and give her a call.


Oldrightie said...

The NHS was designed around a circa 40 million strong population with a forecastable demographic future.
That was screwed by the gerrymandering politicians and we now have circa 70 million and no idea of how to assess the future demographics or numbers. The loss of you Pa will be heavily predicated towards a declining service, overwhelmed with a demand never catered for nor ever can be.

Lysistrata said...

I'm very sorry about your latest news: you and your family could do without this. You should be able to plan his funeral, mourn for him, and honour his life without the additional worry.

Sometimes, when people are ready to die, some part of them just packs up: could be kidneys, or lungs, or heart. We all die of something, in the end.

The coroner's concerns cannot bring your father back, but may help many others by finding out what actually happened during his medical treatment.

Asbestosis, eh? I worked as a teenager for a while at Turner's Asbestos in Trafford Park in the late 60s. Had to handle punched out brake linings with my bare hands: we all spent the weekends picking small prickly fibres out of our fingers. No masks, no gloves, no protective clothing, no ventilation filters. Seems like a long time ago.

Again, my thoughts and sympathy are with you. It's so hard, but you know it's part of the bitter-sweet experience of life. In the end, makes you value life even more and want to savour it and live it to the full.

Captain Ranty said...


Agree 100%.


Captain Ranty said...

Thanks Lys.

I fully understand the life/death cycle. We all owe (our) God a death.

My argument is when that end is hastened. Nothing will bring him back but I will insist on any negligence being punished. They may have taken a good man out of the game before his time. I will not forgive that.

My dad trained as a ships plumber in Smiths Dock in Middlesbrough and one part of his job was to lag pipes with asbestos. No personal protective equipment back then. He was compensated for this foul disease but it ruined his life.

I just told my GP this morning that I had no desire to live forever. He was about to launch into the whole stop smoking/drinking/eating routine when I stopped him. For me it's quality not quantity.

This is my life. I will pass this way but once, and I will not be dictated to.

And I will die.

Just like the abstainers.


Anonymous said...


Was the NHS designed for 40m or was it merely part of the long term agenda of creating services within society that would become authorities?

There is no doubt in my mind that tptb knew exactly what they were doing, that is in regards to the latter creating a monster under the false facade of 'there to help people' when in reality the NHS would (de)volve into nothing less than a mass, state, extermination vehicle.

Until people realise that everything we are given has a sinister ulterior motive then nothing will stop the needless deaths and the finishing of the totalitarian world order.

Quite frankly, considering that our politicians have been nothing more than puppets of the ever controlling Fabian Socialists for the last 130+ years, I've come to realise that the best thing that could ever happen within 'British' society (and I use that term very lightly) is the complete and utter abolishment of establishments, continually praised by society.



Dioclese said...

Disturbing. I will follow with interest and genuine concern.

mikebravo said...

It seems that the "Liverpool pathway" is being pushed to all over a certain age.
I sincerely hope that this has not been the case in your experience as it has been in mine recently.

Woodsy42 said...

Very worrying for you. I hope there is some simple rational explanation.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that they refurbished our local hospital and now every patient has their own room. This is to allegedly reduce infection. But unless the nurse decontaminates herself between each room there is no point. Having read about the Liverpool Care Pathway I suspect that a) single rooms eliminate witnesses and b) the recent census has identified people with no relatives and those people are already earmarked for a one-way visit. Not what you want to hear at this time, sorry, but there it is. As far as kicking up a shitstorm for your dad, good luck but I doubt anything will happen. No-one gets sacked from the NHS for anything short of Shipmanesque mayhem. Sorry.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX This allowed him to release my dad's body to the undertaker XX

NOOO! get a private P.M!!!!

Something appears dodgy here. You need an independant P.M to go to court with.

Martin said...

If they stopped your fathers kidney meds , then that wouldn't help . I'm no medical man but my grandfather had an industrial disease . His dr. went on holiday and didn't leave a script for him , by the time dr. Got suntanned , grandad was dead . Sorry to hear your news . Good luck mate

dunhillbabe said...

Sorry to hear of your dad's passing. bad enough tha, without the added disress of a lack of proper care. i hope you get the answers you need, and don' have to fight for them , as we did ..
You sa your da worked at Middlesbrough Docks .. Was he a local lad? i a from Stockton on Tees, next town aong. my da worked at Head Wrightsons, just near the docks, back in the day when we still made and built stuff here ..

Louise Mclean said...

Doctors are dangerous. They merely suppress symptoms and call that 'cure'. Because symptoms are only suppressed and not cured, deeper, more dangerous symptoms will appear. The lungs and the kidneys are energetically connected, so it is clear what happpened. Homeopathic practitioners are trained to make these connections, unlike conventional doctors, who rarely if every see the link.

Noggin the Nog said...

Louise Mclean Witch Doctor,

No, the kidneys and lungs are not connected, not in the sense you mean.

Homeopathy is bollox, as is evidenced by the massive numbers of people with severe illnesses it totally fails to cure.


Get a private doc to do a PM, something is not right.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your loss CR. Like you said it's bad enough dealing with death by natural causes but to have unanswered questions is awful. My uncle's death enquiry is still ongoing with the coroner and we are almost a year on. (not sure if you saw the MSM reports but he was the bloke that died via a chainsaw accident just before christmas last year) It's like there is no end to it, which is bad enough but for question marks like yours (an NHS cock up? or new directives from evil bastards) must be infuriating, upsetting and stressful to say the least.....

Hope your questions are answered soon and you can move on and grieve properly....


Anonymous said...

Happened to my father father in law and old friend all the more galling when the Prudential insurance stopped insuring asbestos workers in 1914
and Cyril Smith old peado pervert stands up in Parliament to support the Cape board company

My sympathy for your loss ,they were murdered 30 years ago we just didnt know it

Anonymous said...

Sorry to read of your loss and the odd circumstances.

Do you know what meds were administered at the hoaspital - particularly those to clear the cough?

If it was a fluoroquinolone based drug, you might want to find the type and research it.

Anonymous said...

Necessarily anonymous.

Suspicious goings on. My partner works as a carer in an old peoples residential home, she's a star, and is well liked. She works for minimum wage for a private company. They do the best they can, but finance rules every aspect. This presents problems with recruiting, and not all the staff are workaholics and conscientious. But the saddest part of her work is when some of their residents need to be taken to the big NHS hospital. Casual indifference and outright neglect are just two words that come to mind from the experiences within.

Added to that, a colleague has just gone on maternity leave expecting her first after several attempts. On a routine check with her GP she has been advised to have the Flu jab. She had it. We're keeping our fingers crossed.