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Patient's bed-wetting fear after call went unheeded
A BEDRIDDEN hospital patient feared she would wet the bed after ringing a buzzer and waiting nearly half-an-hour to be taken to the toilet.
Tracy Mudway, of Hill Street, off Tallow Hill, Worcester, was treated at Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a rare disease of the central nervous system called transverse myelitis.
The 44-year-old has been told the disease could have developed after a steroid injection for back pain activated the shingles virus.
Transverse myelitis can lead to inflammation of the spinal cord, pain, weakness in the arms and legs and incontinence.
Sufferers can make a near complete recovery but others have attacks throughout life, sometimes resulting in permanent disability.
Mrs Mudway, admitted to the trauma assessment unit on Thursday, August 30, said: “I rang the buzzer because I needed to go to the toilet – I can’t walk. I waited 25 minutes and it wasn’t until a doctor came to see a lady in the next bed that I got any help. If the doctor had not been coming in to see another patient, I would have wet the bed.
“It was as if nobody cared and I didn’t exist.”
Mrs Mudway said that it took nearly 24 hours for staff to give her a red wrist band to show she is allergic to penicillin.
She said communication was poor, which set off the post-traumatic stress disorder she had developed after a gun was held to her head at a KFC in Birmingham in 2005.
On Saturday, September 1, at 6.30pm she was moved to Beech 3 where she said there were only three nurses on a ward with 22 beds. Mrs Mudway also experienced problems with intravenous antiviral drugs for shingles, which she said were never administered on time.
She was moved to Avon 3, an infectious disease ward, on Friday, September 7. She said the cannula was not sterilised or washed out with saline “75 per cent of the time”, which caused it to become blocked.
She was discharged on Saturday, September 15, but returned for a lumbar puncture on Thursday, September 20, to confirm whether she had shingles. She was due to have the procedure at 10.30am but waited until 5pm. Speaking after a two-hour meeting with Tracy Mudway at her home, Helen Blanchard, chief nursing officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, said: “Mrs Mudway said what she really wanted was an apology, which I have been able to give. I was also able to provide reassurance that the action plan our head of nursing and hospital matron had already agreed with Mrs Mudway following her hospital treatment last week would be shared with her.
“The meeting was also a chance to hear about the many examples of excellent nursing care which Mrs Mudway also experienced during her treatment. I was delighted to hear about examples of good communication, care and trust in our nursing teams.”