The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Starving To Death

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

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

UTI still there because they've given her the wrong antibiotics. No one listened when I said Mum had ESBL previously.

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.

Tonight (Wed) they started with the correct 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?


1 Reply

Hello Batgirlx,

I am sorry to hear that your mum is so poorly. Urine infections are common in the elderly and often can cause acute confusion, it may be that once the correct antibiotics start to take effect that her swallowing will improve. Discuss with the medical team involved in your mums care the reasons why they have decided not to feed your mum. The speech therapist may need to review her again and may be start her on a soft diet and the addition of thickeners to fluids which will make it easier for her to swallow.

If you wish to speak with someone please give us a call on our nurse led helpline, freephone 0800 358 7200


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