What to expect from hospital after a cardiac arrest

Hi, I've joined up as my neighbour's husband almost died from a CA when out walking on a hill (amazingly a nurse nearby kept him going), around a fortnight ago. He is a very fit guy in his 60s, but had a mild attack in a gym some years back and had a stent. He was in critical care for 4 days and is now in a ward, but is very confused. He has had a chest and a urinary infection and has been on antibiotics but I think is off them now. He does not appear to have had any surgical treatment yet - I think because of the infections.

I am very unhappy about the things she has told me about how things are going. She has not been able to speak to a consultant at all, or even a doctor. She is getting conflicting accounts about what is going on from nurses. He can't feed himself yet, and she has found cold, uneaten food on one occasion and another guy said nobody had come to feed him. He has had almost no physio - is this right? He can't get out of bed atm - needs a hoist I think, but they haven't used one yet. The visiting hours are evenings only so there's only overworked junior docs there then. I have cancer and have had various long stays in hospital and know how things work, but this all sounds bad? Any comments about what she should be doing and possibly what questions she should be asking. I have recommended ringing the consultant's sec to get an appointment. Also, there was confusion about signing a permission form for an angiogram/plasty? They said he should sign, but he's beyond that atm. Surely she can sign it?

4 Replies

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  • Which country is this?????

  • Oh it's a UK hospital - Midlands. I go to two other hospitals myself and while they suffer staff shortages, they are much better. But this one is supposed to be good with the right facilities and the air ambulance drops there.

    I'm going to take a look at where else they might go, but our local one doesn't do heart stuff at the right level and they are already driving a long way.

    Yes, pretty shocking isn't it! Things will only get worse with the NHS cuts - very depressing article in the Observer this morning.

  • I actually cannot believe it. So many questions.

    This is just me but if my wife was in hospital and no one would talk to me there would be a lot of noise going on. I would create such a scene. So for me its hard to understand.

    When I was in with my heart attack it was just brilliant.

  • She has now managed to see the consultant - after 2 weeks! He has explained they will do an angiogram next week, but the policy now is not to rush into things while the patient is in shock. He may need heavy sedation, as he doesn't understand what's going on and could be difficult during the procedure. They are talking about eventually sending him to some sort of rehabilitation because of the brain damage and they say he will never be quite right. We would be grateful to hear of other people's experience of the brain damage side and any recovery.

    Also a nurse has arranged for him to be hoisted into a chair during the day.

    Slow progress!