Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mother 'Left to Die' at Shamed Hospital

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mother 'Left to Die' at Shamed Hospital

Article excerpt


TROUBLED Northwick Park Hospital was under fire again today following accusations that a 75-year-old woman was "left to die" in an assessment unit.

Grandmother Bridget Shortt was taken by ambulance to the hospital, in Harrow, on 15 June this year. She had a history of heart problems, but no bed was available on a cardiac ward.

Instead, after a five-hour wait in accident and emergency, Mrs Shortt was admitted to an assessment ward, where she was given drugs to stop her blood from clotting.

Three days later she was dead. Mrs Shortt, from Colindale, had suffered internal bleeding - a recognised sideeffect of the drugs she was given - had lost four pints of blood and was severely anaemic. Her family claim that staff did not recognise how seriously ill she was and that her death could have been prevented if she had been properly monitored or given a blood transfusion.

They have complained to the hospital and an inquest into Mrs Shortt's death is due to take place in the New Year. The case is the third serious complaint against the hospital to come to light in recent weeks.

This week, the Evening Standard revealed how accident and emergency staff literally dragged 71-year-old Jamnadas Kapadia out of the department - insisting he was well enough to go home. He died four hours later.

Earlier this month managers admitted that a man had died after doctors gave potentially lifesaving drugs to another patient with the same surname. Deepak Patel, 25, was rushed to casualty with meningitis, but the antibiotics he urgently needed were given to another patient.

Mrs Shortt's two daughters say their mother fell victim to a catalogue of

errors including:

failure to monitor her after giving her anti-blood-clotting drugs

no consultant taking overall charge of her care

a failure to diagnose the reason for a large black bruise on her side caused by internal bleeding

classic symptoms of anaemia being missed

not being given anything to eat or drink for 24 hours

Mrs Shortt had suffered from angina for 10 years, which had previously been successfully treated at Harefield Hospital. …

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