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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Investigation launched after hospital blunder left gran coughing blood

A grandmother was left coughing up blood after being sent home from hospital without vital medication.

Evelyn Taylor photo
Evelyn Taylor

The blunder followed an initial wait of almost 12 hours in A&E for Evelyn Taylor – who is now calling on bosses to get their act together.

The 69-year-old, of Ainstable, near Carlisle, fears she might have died had she not acted quickly when she started coughing up blood.

Hospital bosses have issued an apology and launched an investigation.

Mrs Taylor lives on a farm just outside the village, run by her son William.

On December 29 shetripped and hurt her ankle. The next day the pain and swelling had worsened, so she went to A&E department at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, where she arrived at about 1pm.

“It was about 3pm when the doctor called me into an office. She took my name, address, date of birth and problem, then sent me back out to the waiting area.

“It was chock-a-block,” Mrs Taylor said.

The widow was called through to the cubicles at about 4pm, thinking she was going to be seen.

“They came in about 5pm and said someone would be along shortly. But it was 9pm before I saw anyone.

An X-ray revealed her ankle was broken and needed surgery and she was eventually admitted to Aspen ward – where she says nursing staff were “tip top” – at 11.45pm.

“I was in A&E almost 12 hours. It was just total chaos,” she said.

The next day she underwent surgery.

Her problems didn’t, however, end there. Afterwards she needed injections to prevent blood clots. But when she was discharged on January 4 Mrs Taylor claims there was no further mention of the injections or anti-clotting drugs.

“Ten days after being home I suddenly started spitting up blood.

“My doctor came out to see me and arranged for the district nurse to give me two injections.”

The next day she went back to the hospital for tests which revealed she had blood clots in her lungs.

“I saw the doctor before I left and he asked if I’d been having the injections. When I said no the look on his face said it all. He was furious,” she said.

She added: “This experience is just not acceptable. Who is to blame for these mistakes?”

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, the hospital’s medical director, said: “We sincerely apologise to Mrs Taylor for the experience she has had.

“We are now carrying out a formal investigation.”

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