Medical Mistake Claims - Simpson Millar LLP

Dying for a Drink?

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 24/04/2014

According to an NHS study, around 1,000 patients each year are dying due to dehydration and poor care. Doctors and nurses are equally responsible for failing to meet the care needs of their patients.

Too Weak to Ask for a Drink

It was less than a year ago that the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, NICE, published guidelines on providing patients with water after it found out that over 40,000 deaths could be avoided simply by keeping patients hydrated. Deaths as a result of acute kidney injury could be avoided by medical staff checking patients are hydrated and reviewing their medication.

Elderly and vulnerable patients quickly became too weak to even request a drink of water from nurses after being left so long without it. One of the major drawbacks of dehydration is a loss of kidney function. Kidney infection is often called the "silent killer" because it can go unnoticed and costs the NHS £1 billion a year, more than breast, lung and bowel cancer combined.

Good Basic Care Being Neglected

There are certain types of medication that may cause an increased incidence of the condition, so it is the responsibility of the people taking care of you to make sure that your medication is reviewed before procedures like dialysis become a necessity.

As we have highlighted in a previous article, good basic care such as washing hands or making sure water is available to patients can save lives. Joyce Robins from Patient Concern commented on cases where patients were left "begging for water, and being told to wait."

This is completely unacceptable in our society, especially where we have the means to prevent such incidents happening.

Fundamental Failings in Nursing Care

One lady who went into hospital with a broken leg was left to become dehydrated due to not being able to keep anything down. She tried to express this to the nurses caring for her but her protests went unheeded. She said "when you’re feeling very poorly, you haven’t got the energy to shout and fight them, you can’t do anything about it."

Marguarita Tyne, Partner in Medical Negligence for Simpson Millar LLP comments,

"Sadly all too often we hear cases of neglect while patients are in hospital due to fundamental failings of nursing care and this appears to be an increasing problem exacerbated by understaffed wards."

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