Daughter's anger over cancer blunder

DISGUSTED daughter Lesley Andrews today hit out at Ipswich Hospital staff who labelled her mother's file "NFR" – not for resuscitation.Speaking after the Evening Star exclusively revealed that staff had made the blunder by instructing that her mother should not be resuscitated in the event of a heart attack, she said it had caused great distress.

By Nick Richards

DISGUSTED daughter Lesley Andrews today hit out at Ipswich Hospital staff who labelled her mother's file "NFR" – not for resuscitation.

Speaking after the Evening Star exclusively revealed that staff had made the blunder by instructing that her mother should not be resuscitated in the event of a heart attack, she said it had caused great distress.

She said: "It's disgusting. My mother and father worked hard all their lives only to be treated like this.


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"It doesn't matter how bad my mother's health is, she still has the right to decide when she's had enough and she has not given up."

Ms Andrews, 40, who does not wish for her mother to be identified, said her mother was concerned she would not be treated in an emergency.

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Her 63-year-old mother, who is being treated for lymphoma cancer, was admitted by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital last week after suffering problems with breathing.

On her arrival, medical staff allegedly asked whether she wanted to be resuscitated in the event of a cardiopulmonary arrest (CPR) and she had decided yes.

However, a week later relatives of the patient discovered that her mother's notes indicated the opposite.

The hospital has now launched an investigation into the claims, and has agreed to discuss the results as soon as it is complete.

The patient, who was diagnosed with cancer in June, has undergone about seven chemotherapy treatments and despite being told it was terminal, she had refused to give up hope.

Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said the hospital was about to introduce a policy in relation to CPR, which sets out that a decision not to resuscitate should be taken by the patient's consultant and medical team after consultation and agreement with their next of kin.

"The situation is that CPR is very invasive. The only reason doctors may suggest it's not appropriate is if someone is so poorly they feel is would cause more distress and prolong suffering," she added.

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