Relatives begged for morphine as brother died - Independent.ie
Just a harrowing story from the coroners court yesterday. A man with Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's, pneumonia and who was in pain from a recent hernia operation (and subsequent infection) was left screaming for hours in a&e as staff miscommunications resulted in him not getting morphine.
Now....I think we all understand how communication errors can happen. And the coroners recommendation of new processes and controls is right and proper. But the guy is screaming in pain for hours,how could no one have double checked to see if he was allowed a serious pain killer?The family asked medics to give Mr Wright morphine, but were told he could be given pain relief or antibiotics but not both, she said. They asked that he be given pain relief and were told the palliative care team would see him, she added.
Pethidine was administered to no effect. The family requested again he be given morphine.
Consultant Dr Diarmuid Smith, who oversaw the admission, said when the pethidine did not work the case was discussed with the palliative care team who advised Mr Wright be given an anti-anxiety medication – and if this did not work he could be given morphine.
Dr Smith said: "It should have been relayed to the family. That is possibly a reflection of the pressures and strains and I apologise."
The entire thing of course highlights the nightmare scenario for people caring for those with special needs, where they experience pain and either can't understand it or can't express it.