Organ failure

Hi. I know this may sound creepy, but what exactly does organ failure look and smell like when you are dying in a hospital bed? My son had passed away last year, and they told me he had massive brain damage and that the side bags on the bed were not bowel bags, that he was losing his organs but I didn't believe them. The smell was horrific like a bowel smell worse times 10. My best friend passed away that day and nobody answered these types of questions. I found him in his room he was blue from a seizure. I can't get my questions answered, one said he was already dead at this point I need closure from this medical thing. A parent should never lose their child, and I had to pull the plug and still feel the guilt. I need help.

5 Replies

  • No one can answer your questions other than the staff who looked after your son. You need to contact the hospital PALs team and ask them to liaise with the ICU.

  • I'm so sorry to hear of your devastating news and I would like to offer you my most sincere condolences. As you say, no parent should ever lose a child. Perhaps you should seek help from the PALS team at the hospital where you son died as you need to talk to the consultants that cared for your son during his last hours and PALS can arrange this. There is also an organisation for patients, relatives and clinicians who give support to people who have experienced the trauma of ICU. It is called ICU Steps and there should be one near the hospital where your son was in ICU or in the region nearby. You can find further details on the website

    I do hope you are able to find some help so that you can begin to come to terms with this terrible tragedy. I wish you well on your journey. Val

  • I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your son, your need for closure is understanding and the only people that can give that are the doctors the treated him, as for the smell it's something you can never forget my father died in 1976 on my 18th birthday from lung cancer, it had destroyed one lung and half of the other I will never forget that awful smell in his last few days, I'm not sure if ICUsteps would be right for you as it's a survivors charity, have you thought about contacting CRUSE which is a bereavement charity they may be able to help you get through your terrible loss.

  • Thank you for your responses, but if I wanted to ask the doctors I would have but I was not happy with their treatment of inconsolable as my family were that's why I came on here. I just wanted to know if he was moving his bowels or was that actually organ failure. Please only answer if you've been through it. Thank you. My mind is in a fog from this unusual request.

  • I had contacted the hospital where my son passed and they are willing to set up a meeting with me with the attending physician and director of ICU. Just need some medical closure, everything happens so fast I need answers. My boy is dead and sometimes I feel no need to go on he was my whole life..:(

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