Monday, April 13, 2009

Back To The Baby Ward - Part One.

So now let's get back to the historical information.

Having left Bristol Children's Hospital after viral meningitis, it wasn't long before Hari was back there - this time in intensive care. (August 1984.)

Once she was well enough to leave intensive care we found ourselves back on the baby ward- on the same night that Hari's twin sister was also re-admitted. Hari's twin sister appeared to have some kind of virus but the GP was taking no chances, after how ill Hari had been, and had sent her to the hospital.

I have quite a few things to say about our stay on the baby ward on this occasion and it may better to detail them in more than one post.

Let's start with the problem of the 'hospital' clothes.

Once again we had the problem of worn and stained clothes being put out for the twins to wear. They were in the same cubicle together. (Glass walled so it was like sitting in a goldfish bowl!) In each cubicle there was a bin for rubbish and a bin for dirty laundry. Into the laundry bin would go wet towels; sheets that had vomit, urine and faeces on and dirty clothes.

On several occasions I took one look at the stains on the 'clean' clothes and put them straight into the laundry bin - along with the dirty towels and sheets. What always followed next was appalling - if I went off the ward to get a coffee or something to eat - I would return to find that somebody had taken the clothes back out of the laundry bin and left them on the side - expecting me to dress my babies in them. It was bad enough that they had been stained in the first place but to expect my babies to wear them after they had been in contact with vomit urine and faeces was disgusting!

In the end I brought their own clothes in insisting, in defiance of the ward sister, that they wear their own clothes. I may have been breaking her precious rules but they were MY babies, not HERS; I would decide what they wore and ensure that they had clean clothes.

If the clothes had been the only problem it wouldn't have been so bad.

As I had my eldest daughter to look after I couldn't stay at the hospital overnight. I would get there as early as possible in the mornings - usually by 9am. It wasn't unusual for me to arrive to find that at least one of the twins had been sick or a nappy had leaked onto the sheet. On quite a few occasions it was clear that the vomit, urine or faeces had been on the sheets for hours and had simply been ignored.

On one occasion I arrived to find a nurse just tucking Hari back into her cot. The nurse told me that she had just fed her but that she had decided to leave her bath for me as she knew that I would want to do it.

What she didn't say was that Hari was in desperate need of a bath - her nappy was so dirty (and had clearly been like this for a long time) that there was dried faeces all up her back. Yes - a nurse had been tucking her back into her cot in this state without making any attempt to clean her up or even change her nappy!

Standards were not what we were entitled to expect!

No comments: