NHS horror story: neglected patient calls police for water, dies of thirst
A young patient who died of dehydration at a leading teaching hospital phoned police from his bed because he was so thirsty, an inquest heard yesterday.
Officers arrived at Kane Gorny’s bedside, but were told by nurses that he was in a confused state and were sent away.
The keen footballer and runner, 22, died of dehydration a few hours later.
A coroner had such grave concerns about the case that she referred it to police.
Yesterday an inquest was told how Mr Gorny died after blunders and neglect by ‘lazy and careless’ medical staff at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London.
His mother Rita Cronin, a civil servant told Westminster Coroner’s Court that staff tutted at her and repeatedly refused to listen to her concerns that her son hadn’t been given vital medication.
At one point he became so desperate and upset that staff sedated and restrained him — and on the night before his death, his mother said, he was not checked on by medical staff, despite being in a room on his own.
[...]When he arrived at hospital for the hip operation, nurses assured the family they would give him his medication and said: ‘Don’t worry, he’s in good hands — we’ll look after him.’
But, despite the repeated reminders and insistence by both Mr Gorny and his family, staff failed to give him the tablets and he became severely dehydrated after being refused water.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2010, Miss Cronin said of the nurses who treated him: ‘They were lazy, careless and hadn’t bothered to check his charts and see his medication was essential. He was totally dependent on the nurses to help him and they totally betrayed him.’
Yesterday Miss Cronin told the inquest she received a distressed phone call from her son on May 27, 2009, in which he told her he’d called the police because he was so desperate for a drink.
[...]She then went to the hospital where she found him ‘confused and angry’, shouting at staff and behaving in an uncharacteristically abusive manner.
Despite this, one doctor asked if he was ‘coming off the booze’ and another asked if he was ‘always like this’. Miss Cronin said: ‘He sounded really, really distressed. He said “They won’t give me anything to drink”. ‘He also said “I’ve called the police. You better get here quickly: they’re all standing around the bed getting their stories straight”.’
When Miss Cronin arrived, she recalled: ‘They weren’t doing anything. They seemed out of their depth. It felt like the two locum doctors were nervous about calling anyone more senior than them.’
The inquest heard Mr Gorny was restrained by security guards and sedated with strong medication to calm him down. Later, he was put into a side room and left alone.
Miss Cronin said she sat in his room for three hours the night before he died without a single nurse checking on him or giving him vital medicine.
Dr. Smith also linked to: this article: where doctors have to: prescribe water to patients: in order to ensure that they do not die of dehydration in the NHS.
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