Southend Hospital staff mistakenly leave plastic tube in elderly disabled woman's arm

·2-min read
'Lack of care' - The cannula in Miss Darbey's arm
'Lack of care' - The cannula in Miss Darbey's arm

AN ELDERLY disabled woman was left in pain after staff mistakenly discharged her from hospital with a plastic tube still stuck in her arm.

Rayleigh resident Hilda Darbey had to endure a night of agony with an intravenous cannula – a small flexible plastic tube inserted into a vein for the administering of medication or fluids – still in her arm.

The 86-year-old had been discharged from Southend Hospital’s colostomy ward on Thursday with the tube still in her arm.

“When we got home, to my horror, we realized she still had the intravenous cannula in her arm,” husband Robert Darbey, 82, said.

Echo: In pain - The cannula is still stuck in her arm
Echo: In pain - The cannula is still stuck in her arm

In pain - The cannula is still stuck in her arm

“This just displays a lack of care from the staff really. The cannula is hurting her, and she had a very bad night on Thursday with it stuck in her arm.

“It’s disgraceful, what they have done.”

Miss Darbey had only been at hospital for two hours to sort out an issue with her colostomy bag.

The Rayleigh couple say they are furious with hospital staff for failing to remove the cannula, which went unnoticed by Miss Darbey as she had taken painkillers.

“I don’t understand how they could be so careless as to let something like this happen. We are appalled," Mr Darbey said.

Speaking on Friday morning he added: “I have phoned and phoned the hospital to try and get somebody to come and help but we have heard nothing back.

“My wife is disabled, so it isn’t a simple matter of us just going back down there to get it removed. It’s not that easy for us”

By 4pm, Southend Hospital had sent a member of staff to the couple's home to remove the cannula.

Mr Darbey added he was shocked by how busy the hospital was when they arrived on Thursday.

“There must have been at least 10 ambulances all with people waiting to go into A&E,” he said.

Diane Sarkar, chief nursing and quality officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have been to the patient's house to remove the cannula and apologised for the error."

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