Monday, March 20, 2006

Care Home - Or Not

Both Reynolds from Random Acts of Reality and Mark from Neenaw have recently posted about care homes – or the lack of care.

After a job yesterday, it’s now my turn.

The call was given as “85f suspended post choking”.

I arrived with the crew, and when we go to the patient, there was no sign of the staff having done CPR, but they said they’d tried doing the Heimlich manoeuvre to clear her throat, but it hadn’t worked.

The paramedic managed to remove a large piece of meat from her throat, and we started resuscitation. We managed to get a cardiac output back, but she sadly died shortly after arrival at hospital.

I’d gone with the crew to give them a hand, and they called control and asked them to let the FRU desk know I had gone with them in the ambulance. Control informed us that the call-taker was putting in a complaint about the home, as when they were initially put through, they asked for advice on what to do with a dead body! Apparently, they had waited 15 minutes after the patient had stopped breathing before calling.

It leaves me speechless, and makes me wonder if the outcome would have been different had they called us straight away, considering 15 minutes delay in calling, plus 6 minutes running time to get there, plus a further 2 minutes to get to the patient (they weren’t exactly very quick answering the door), a total of 23 minutes, and we still got a cardiac output back! Could we have saved her? I guess we’ll never know.

It’s just affirmed my decision that should my dad ever come to the point of needing round the clock care, there is absolutely no way on God’s earth that I will put him into a care/nursing home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how bizarre....i am the EMD who took the call!! basically the story is as told, i dont know how long it was between the pat stopping breathing and the care home calling 999 but i do know it wasnt quick enough. the complaint has been put in and hopefully i will hear what happens, but more than likely i wont. Its not the first time i have taken calls like this although this is the worst one. anyhow, great blog, cant believe youre the FRU i was chatting to!!

7:42 pm  
Anonymous Pjotr said...

but what can we do with your elders?
In todays society we can't count on "the village" to care for our loved ones. We have kindergardens and care homes instead...

IMNSHO i think the solution is to constant monitor and check the quality of our care homes (and kindergardens) and invent a smart way to punish those who fail to reach acceptable standards... (In cases like this public flogging springs to mind...)

1:35 pm  
Blogger Rosey said...

Older people need the same laws as children and other victims of abuse.

In my opinion the quality control is flawed and ....well crap.

I briefly worked in a care home before starting my nurse training and it was terrible. Poorly paid staff with little or no training. If you pay peanuts, expect monkeys. I felt powerless to change anything.

On the plus side I was very happy to find that the long term hospital care provided for older people (where I was on placement) was brilliant.

It breaks my heart to hear these stories.

I agree with you Steve, if my mother (god forbid) ever needs full time care, I will do it myself or pay someone I know will look after her well - regardless of the cost.

5:51 pm  
Anonymous SW Dave said...

Owned by Asians, staffed by Africans. What a way for an Englishman/woman to end his/her days. Brrr!

10:49 am  
Anonymous Lee said...

Hi Steve, this sounds so familar. i was on Nights last night in the East Mids. We got called to a 92 year old who had fallen. Nice golf ball lump on head, blood down neck, and covered in old bruises from head to toe, and apparently had been falling over all week. We "dont care" home staff stated, wasnt our problem, although they asked us to put in a social services re-evaluation, as they say they couldnt cope with her continually falling over. what a state this country is, if our senior friends, dont get the help they so just derserve.
Lee (Ex LAS)

2:10 pm  
Anonymous Melly said...

What a lovely space you have here steve! Your stories definetely are interesting..reminds me of my days dispatching. hope all is well :)

5:59 am  

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