Pelvis break not detected before death
A LLANELLI man has slammed hospital staff for failing to X-ray his 98-year-old uncle after a fall — leading to his fractured pelvis going untreated for several weeks.
Robert Cowern, of Felinfoel Road, has spoken out about the care of his uncle Milward, whose undetected injury contributed to his death shortly after.
Milward suffered a fall at his care home last month, where staff immediately called for an ambulance and asked for scans to be carried out as the pensioner was in severe pain.
But his nephew said that unknown to his family and carers, Mr Cowern was not X-rayed and was discharged from Glangwili Hospital a week later.
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Still in pain, Milward was readmitted to hospital several times over the course of a few weeks, where he picked up a chest infection, before pneumonia set in and he passed away.
Shocked at the course of events, Mr Cowern said: "When they eventually X-rayed him, they found he had a fractured pelvis.
"We asked how this had not been picked up in X-rays and they said he hadn't had any.
"They had given him a head scan for some reason, but I would have thought automatically that a 98-year-old man who had fallen and didn't have a cut to his head that he would have broken his arm, leg or hip."
Mr Cowern added that his uncle, who had still been driving around Llanelli at the age of 96 and took part in this year's Llanelli Railway Riot anniversary march, was a healthy man until his fall.
"He had nothing wrong with him until he was taken down there," he said.
"He was unbelievable for his age and he would have lived well past 100.
"With the way services are being moved to Glangwili I'm really disappointed with the care he was getting.
"I think it's absolutely disgusting and I don't want it to happen to anyone else."
To add insult to injury, Milward's daughter, who travelled from Berkshire to visit her dad, was refused emergency dialysis at Glangwili.
"She came down, even though it was a struggle in a wheelchair, and they were driving from Llanelli to Carmarthen to see him," Mr Cowern said.
"We asked if she could have dialysis there because her father was dying and she wanted to be with him and they said she couldn't.
"She had to go all the way back home and while she was there he died.
"I'm really annoyed that they didn't pick up my uncle's fracture, and with the way they treated his daughter."
A health board spokeswoman said: "We wish to offer the family our sincere condolences and offer reassurances that their concerns are being fully investigated."