Our expert says:
Sorry to hear about this, Patricia. Such stories make me sad and angry.
I have been through a similar experience, and know how tragic this can be. And sadly, it seems to me that while one wants the best care available for the person one loves, some doctors don't think carefully enough to weight costs and benefits to the patient and family.
I'm amazed that nobody picked up the heart problem earlier. I dont think I'm old-fashioned, but ANY doctor of ANY speciality when dealing with a person with physical illness, shouldlisten carefully to their heart, and an aortic stenosis produces characteristic sounds any of them ought to notice.
Not to check carefully when someone complains of chest pain is unbelievable. And I have never heard of significant aortic stenosis that can ONLY be diagnosed by sonar - how did we dinosaur docs manage in the days before sonar was available ? We examined carefully and listened carefully.
And to me its irresponsible to operate on a patient and then fly straight off on holiday, without making full and proper arrangements for complete aftercare for the patient AND family. There should be some form of Ombudsman to check on complex cases like this, to make sure proper care is delivered. And they must be around long enough to properly assess whether the operation was genuinely useful and to plan aftercare, AND to explain everything properly to the patient and their next of kin.
What do other readers think should be done in a situation like this ?
Are there any other family members and friends who can provide you with some support and the opportunity to talk this through ?
Is there someone senior at the hospital with whom you can discuss your very valid concerns about the standard of care provided ?
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