Swallowing Anxiety

My 83 yr old Mum started with an Urinary Tract Infection on Friday, became confused and anxious, then forgot how to swallow.

She happily puts food in her mouth but then just holds it there.

UTI still there because besides giving her the wrong antibiotics, they gave her tablets which she couldn't swallow. No one listened when I said Mum had ESBL previously and couldn't swallow.

Presently Mum is an inpatient at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Speech Therapist made her Nil By Mouth on Monday.

Consultant refusing to insert NG tube to feed temporarily because Mum has lung cancer (stage 4, on Afatinib) and confused due to UTI.

Last night (1 week later) they started with the correct intravenous antibiotics for ESBL.

Can doctors refuse to feed patients? I pointed out that it will be difficult for Mum to fight the infection and cancer, while on the wrong antibiotics and starving.

Does anyone know how I can help my Mum?

Jane

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1 Reply

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  • It sounds as though your mother is nearing the end of her life and decisions about feeding are difficult and need to be balanced with risks and discomfort of NG feeding. Ideally this should be a joint decision, which is agreed by all involved.

    She is in an excellent hospital and I would expect you can have this discussion with her health professionals.

    Ideally it would be good to know what your mother would want, but it sounds as though she may not have long to live now.

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