Stroke victim left for seven hours

By Ian Dipple Thursday 20 March 2014 Updated: 21/03 08:32

A WOMAN who suffered a series of mini-strokes was left waiting more than seven hours in A&E for treatment.

The Mappleborough Green resident, who did not want to be named, was told there had been a mix-up between doctors at the Alexandra Hospital which meant she had been overlooked.

The 77-year-old first noticed something was wrong last Friday (March 14) when she began to slur her speech but did not realise what was happening to her. It was not until she began to feel seriously unwell while shopping in Morrisons the following morning she rang her brother Charles Medlicott for help.

He rushed her to the Woodrow Drive Hospital just before midday where she was initially seen within 20 minutes, monitored and given aspirin. However she was not seen again until 7pm when she was admitted to the Medical Assessment Unit.

When asked about the delay the doctor apologised and said there had been a mix-up with colleagues which meant they all thought the other one was dealing with her.

It was later revealed since last Friday morning she had suffered four Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs), commonly referred to as mini-strokes which occur due to a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain. It causes symptoms similar to a stroke but the effects usually only last for a few minutes.

Mr Medlicott’s sister had to wait until Tuesday (March 18) to see a consultant before being sent home the following day with a further outpatients appointment.

Mr Medlicott said: “I hope by highlighting this case procedural methods and communication between staff are improved upon so any future stroke patients do not have to experience what my sister went through.

“When it comes to a stroke it’s minutes that count not hours.”

Penny Venables, chief executive of WAHT, said they were sorry for the communication issues which the emergency department team had been asked to look into.

She added the woman had received appropriate care and diagnostic tests to ensure her safety.

“Mini-strokes, known as TIAs, are treated regularly and safely at the Alexandra Hospital,” she said.

“We would welcome the chance to meet with her to discuss the care she received, and where we can learn from her experience.”

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