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Grandad furious at Boston doctors who ruled not to save him from heart attack

By Boston Target  |  Posted: January 14, 2013

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital

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A HORBLING grandad believes doctors were "waiting for him to die" when they ruled he should not be saved in the event of another heart attack.

Alan Burt says staff at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital should not have placed him under a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) order when he was brought in by paramedics after a cardiac arrest.

And he is furious his distraught wife was allegedly told to "let him go with dignity" when she protested.

Furthermore, Mr Burt believes he should have been sent to a specialist heart ward rather than kept on an emergency ward.

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Now the 76-year-old – who has made a full recovery – is complaining to a health watchdog about the care he received at Pilgrim Hospital.

He claims that the intervention of an anonymous nurse – which eventually saw him transferred to the cardiac unit and the order removed – proves the initial decision was wrong.

Mr Burt suffered a severe cardiac arrest at his home in Horbling, near Sleaford, in March last year.

He was resuscitated by a paramedic and transferred to Boston Pilgrim Hospital.

After being transferred from A&E to a clinical decision unit, he was placed under a DNAR order as doctors believed he would have little chance of surviving a second arrest.

It was also believed he would suffer from severe brain damage had he been resuscitated.

But Mr Burt has now complained to the Parliamentary and Health Service ombudsman about his care.

"It was as if they were waiting for me to die," he said.

"There are guidelines that show I should have been immediately transferred to the cardiac unit but for whatever reason I was not.

"It was not until the nurse raised concerns with the heart nurses team that I was moved there and the do not resuscitate order was removed."

Regional critical care guidelines suggest that admission to an intensive therapy unit may be appropriate for patients aged over 70 if they are active and independent.

Mr Burt believes he owes three people for saving his life.

"Without doubt, the paramedic saved my life," he said.

"The anonymous nurse who raised concerns about my care and then the nurse from the heart team also saved my life by getting me moved.

"By going to the ombudsman I hope to get proper answers from the people responsible for my care. I want to make sure that the blame for the mistakes is not shifted to those less capable of defending themselves."

Mr Burt's wife, Delia, 70, was at her husband's bedside throughout his time in hospital.

"The doctors kept telling me I needed to let him go with dignity," she said.

"They didn't listen to me when I told them he was a fit and active man, which is why he should have been sent to the heart unit under the care guidelines.

"In A&E, lights were on all day, staff were shouting at each other at all hours.

"It was more like a chip shop than a hospital."

Anna Temple, spokesperson for United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, said: "We are pleased to hear that Mr Burt is doing well and hope that he is making a good recovery from his illness.

"We would like to apologise to Mr Burt and his family for their concerns around the care provided at Pilgrim hospital, and some shortcomings in the standard of care provided, particularly around effective communication.

"However, we do consider the medical decisions made in this case to have been reasonable in view of the clinical condition of the patient.

"An investigation into the case has led to a detailed clinical governance review which we believe will help to produce some real and lasting improvements in patient care."

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  • Pete67  |  January 14 2013, 9:11AM

    How typical! If you want to live they'll let you die, but if you want to die they'll do their damnedest to keep you alive. Do they not realise it's hippocratic oath, and not hypocritic?

    |   3
  • Pete67  |  January 14 2013, 9:11AM

    How typical! If you want to live they'll let you die, but if you want to die they'll do their damnedest to keep you alive. Do they not realise it's hippocratic oath, and not hypocritic?

    |   11
  • Cloth_Ears  |  January 14 2013, 8:13AM

    "In A&E, lights were on all day" Those cheeky bleeders, working with the lights on, whatever next!!

    |   -4