A heartbroken widow says staffing issues at Rockingham General Hospital fast-tracked her partner’s death.
Fiona Avins claims nurses were so stretched, it took more than 30 hours to get a drip line put back in his arm.
She says in that time, her husband all but wasted away.
Dennis Morrison, 63, was not in good health before he went to hospital.
He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease almost a year ago.
The disease was aggressive, but his partner says his hospital bed shouldn’t have become his death bed.
She took Dennis to Rockingham General Hospital on Sunday, November 7.
Short of breath, he was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and placed on intravenous antibiotics.
The next day, he was improving.
But on Tuesday at noon, the IV needle reportedly fell out of the port.
His family says it was 9pm the next night before a nurse put it back in.
They say Dennis endured 33 hours of the infection with no antibiotics.
All the fight in him was gone.
“I said to him, ‘do you want to go home?’ I said, ‘put your thumbs up,” Fiona told 7NEWS.
“And he did, he put his thumbs up.”
He died at home in Fiona’s arms, seven hours later.
“All I did was comfort him and tell him it was okay and that I loved him,” she said.
Fiona says she begged staff to put the IV back in and pleaded with staff to make him comfortable.
She claims she was repeatedly told by nurses they were understaffed, extremely busy and only one doctor was working.
“The staff were all complaining they were doing double shifts,” she said.
“In the end, we were standing in the corridor waiting for someone to come past.”
Twenty-four hours after the IV needle fell out, Fiona and her family had an emergency meeting with doctors at Rockingham General Hospital.
They say doctors told them in the meeting that they didn’t put the drip back in because they thought Dennis was improving.
Fiona says that decision hastened his death, but the hospital doesn’t agree.
“We send our condolences to the patient’s family,” Rockingham General Hospital said in a statement.
“Mr Morrison received appropriate care during his time at Rockingham General Hospital.”
Fiona says the hospital system in WA needs fixing.
“His treatment was so wrong by that hospital,” she told 7NEWS.
“Someone has to stand up and we have to fix this system and fix it now.”
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