Wednesday 13 November 2019

Pensioner heard saw cut off his leg during amputation

Peter Stapleton
Peter Stapleton
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

A hospital has apologised after a pensioner endured the trauma of "hearing the saw that cut the bone in his leg" during an amputation.

On top of this, Peter Stapleton (77) and his family were left "at breaking point" after he picked up a superbug.

Mr Stapleton was treated for severe vascular issues in his right leg at University Hospital Limerick last October. He presented as an inpatient again in November and was discharged the following month with stents inserted.

His daughter Lynda, who urged the UL Hospitals Group to investigate, wrote on April 18 that after his discharge he "suffered immense pain".

In January, he was rushed to the emergency department after falling. All the while, "gangrene had set in", Lynda wrote.

Following re-admission on January 31, a below-the-knee amputation was carried out in late February. His daughter said a further amputation, above the knee, was then required on April 12.

However, Mr Stapleton was not given headphones and had to listen to his upper leg being cut off with a saw. His daughter wrote in an email on April 18: "This was inhumane and has traumatised him."

UHL wrote to her on May 29, saying a local, rather than a general, anaesthetic was used to "ensure the patient safety is not compromised".

It said: "I do apologise, your father was not offered headphones as this is normal practice. I am sorry he had to endure this unnecessary trauma."

After it emerged that Mr Stapleton, of Limerick, had contracted the CPE superbug at UHL, he was then transferred into the 2D isolation ward.

Lynda said her father's isolated treatment had a major "personal impact" on the family.

He was discharged on Tuesday. A spokesperson for UL Hospitals Group said it was continuing to address the family's concerns through the complaints process.

Irish Independent

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