Wednesday my husband attended the “Fluorescing” X-Ray dept at our local Peterborough Hospital for a Barium swallow exam of his throat. He is confined to his wheelchair being a C3 spinal cord injury patient. The x-ray machine had to be manoeuvred in an unfamiliar way to the staff on duty. We were assured that the machine had a safety cut out to prevent it coming into contact with Hubby.
Whilst the operation was taking place one of the members of staff operated the machinery in such a way as to move the machine onto Hubby’s legs, with such force that it momentarily tipped him forward in his chair lifting the back wheels. The staff then rather than using the machine to free Hubby straight away tried to extricate him manually, then realising it had to be done via the controls as his legs were wedged under the machine.
The staff checked Hubby out for obvious signs of injury there being none we left the hospital. Since the staff said they were going to fill in an incident report we were going to leave this there and chalk it up to yet another bad experience as a disabled person. Unfortunately though I have to report that Hubby has had significant pain in his left thigh and knee following on from this incident, although no bruising is evident so we will be making a formal complaint after all. Because of Hubby’s spasticity it will be extremely difficult to x-ray this part of Hubby leg to check for damage so this has put Hubby in an impossible situation.
What do we want from Peterborough City Hospital:
1. A thorough investigation as to why this piece of kit was able to come into contact with Hubby.
2. A thorough review of training in the equipment.
3. A review of the operating controls, are they confusing for the staff when the machine is operated in this different way.
4. An apology from the Hospital and an assurance that this will not happen to some other disabled person.
So watch this space and see whether they respond in a positive way.