Mackay hospital: Patient crawls through own stool

A woman, who reportedly crawled through her feces and blood during her stay at a leading Queensland hospital, has sparked a large-scale investigation into patient neglect.

Mackay hospital: Patient crawls through own stool

The state’s health watchdog is reviewing claims by the family of Erica Middleton, 71, who said she was “getting worse” after being admitted to Mackay Hospital for Covid in early April.

The daughter of the 71-year-old, Cheryl Middleton, told NCA NewsWire that her mother’s stay was “inhumane” and contributed to her lifelong disability after a stroke.

“She passed out in the toilet and pulled her cannula out and woke up with a pool of blood and had to crawl through her stool on her own hands and knees to call for help,” she said.

“From there, it just goes on. You know she was discharged, and on the way back from the hospital, she had a temperature of 39.3 degrees.”

Camera IconCheryl (left) and Erica (right) Middleton during their stay at Mackay Hospital in Queensland. Credit provided: NCA NewsWire

Cheryl claimed her mother had lost more than five pounds after being hospitalized due to a lack of food and water.

“There wasn’t enough food and water in the ward — I had to call the emergency department to get her food and water because she wasn’t getting any,” she said.

“I called her, and she cried. Her lips are stuck together because she can’t get water.”

After more than 24 hours without food, Cheryl began documenting her mother’s hospital stay for the first three weeks of April.

After invoking Ryan’s rule – allowing the family to assess a patient’s care – Ms. Middleton was transported to Townsville Hospital, where she later suffered a stroke, leaving her disabled.

“This treatment put an unwanted strain on her heart, and she then had atrial fibrillation, which resulted in a blood clot in the brain (stroke),” Cheryl said.

“There is a serious problem at Mackay Base Hospital, and it needs to be investigated as soon as possible before more people ever experience permanent disability or death.”

After Ms. Middleton’s traumatic experience, she is now “too scared” to return to Mackay Hospital for rehab.

Camera icon Mr. Middleton (left), Mrs. Middleton (center), and their son at Townsville Hospital. Delivered. Credit: NCA NewsWire

Mackay Hospital and Health Services chief executive Lisa Jones told NCA NewsWire that the hospital had apologized to the Middleton family for “any distress caused by her care at Mackay Base Hospital”.

“We’ve explained some of their concerns and shared preferences that we took from Ms. Middleton’s experience,” she said.

“I can assure the community that patient safety is the number 1 priority in our health service and that we have systems for incident reporting and investigation processes, including clinical care assessments.

“We have established internal processes to investigate any concerns related to patient care and are also working closely with the Office of the Health Ombudsman as they also conduct an assessment of care as part of the usual process when a person makes a complaint to their office. “

The inquiry into Ms. Middleton’s care will be reviewed in the first week of July.

Lori J. Kile
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