In the final ten days of her life, in a hospice, she looked gorgeous, as if lit from within. Sometimes, shed have happy, whispered conversations with a person I couldnt see. At other times, shed stare at the ceiling as a full panoply of expressions played across her face: puzzled, amused, sceptical, surprised, becalmed — like a spectator watching a heavenly light show. Its so interesting, she began one morning, but she couldnt find the words to describe what shed seen. Psychologists found that only 10 per cent who had visions also had high fevers, which can trigger hallucinations. She knew very well that she was dying. Forty-eight hours before she died, she announced: i am leaving.
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When she awoke that morning, shed described them to her teenage son Graeme as she drove him to school. Among the visions of the future, she told him, was one of his own child — a yet- to-be conceived five-month-old granddaughter — whom shed played with on her bedroom floor. It wasnt till Katharine got back home that my mother phoned to tell her Dad had just died. Suddenly, she knew the reason for the powerful surge of energy and joy shed felt in her bedroom, the sense of someone there. I now know that it was my father, she said. Now, my family isnt in the habit of channelling ghosts. Indeed, my first reaction to my sisters vision was close to hysterical laughter. But, almost immediately afterwards, the vision began to make profound sense, like puzzle pieces slipping perfectly into place. Without discussing it, we were convinced as a family that Dad had done something fat of great emotional elegance. Hed seized a mysterious opportunity to go to his very sick daughter, to caress her and calm her, before heading on his way. A month later, in early April, a scan revealed that Katharines cancer had spread to her bones and liver.
That sigh was his final breath as he died. No one, least of all my father, had known he was ill. As for my mother, shed assumed he was still asleep when she rose a few hours later and had breakfast alone. Afterwards shed returned to the bedroom and tried, with increasing desperation, to wake him. There was, however, one person who knew about business Dads death well before mum did: my sister Katharine, who lived 100 miles away and was herself suffering from terminal breast cancer. On the night of my fathers death, she told mourners at his memorial service some weeks later, i had an extraordinary spiritual experience. It was about.30am and I couldnt sleep, when all of a sudden I began having this amazing experience. For the next two hours, i felt nothing but joy and healing. I felt hands on my head, and experienced vision after vision of a happy future.
This is about an area of medicine where many lives could be saved if the level of understanding is the same among staff in all settings, and the nhs as a whole should act on this guidance as a matter of urgency. The guidance makes no mention of the liverpool Care pathway whereby fluid, food and other drugs are withdrawn from patients garden who are believed to be close to death. But as the condition is primarily caused by dehydration, it could affect some patients on the pathway. At the gates of heaven: A new book, drawing on the stories of dying patients and doctors, will transform the way you think about your final days. Published: 01:38 bst, updated: 13:36 bst, within roughly 72 hours of the end of their lives, many dying people begin to speak in metaphors. At around 4am that morning, my father gave an audible sigh. It was loud enough to wake my mother, who sleepily assumed that he was having a bad dream.
Not only can we save lives with this guideline but the money we save could be put back into general nhs care. The guidelines tell doctors and staff to carry out simple checks to detect the condition in patients over 65, particularly those with dementia or other conditions whereby they are dependent on someone else to give them water. Other high-risk groups include those with heart failure, liver disease, diabetes or blood infections. Nice says the condition cannot be blamed on poor nursing, but experts say nhs staff are not doing enough to detect the illness and prevent it from getting worse (file picture). Doctors and nurses are urged to carry out simple urine tests to measure the levels of the chemical serum creatine, which are high if patients have kidney failure. Staff are also told to ensure patients have enough fluids and to check whether patients are dehydrated by looking for signs such as dry skin and sunken eyes. 'many hospitals and healthcare professionals have been doing an excellent job in watching out for acute kidney injury in their patients, but unfortunately this good practice is not seen everywhere' - dr Mark Thomas, dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the royal College of Nursing.
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Professor Donal odonoghue, a former national director of pollution Kidney care who works at Salford royal Hospital in Greater Manchester, said: Its the vulnerable, frail elderly who are affected. It is estimated that a fifth of all patients attending a e every year - one million people - suffer from acute kidney injury, of whom an estimated 210,000 die (file picture). They dont get adequate fluids they dont feel like drinking, so they dont request them. The doctors and nurses think about the fall, the pneumonia or whatever else is affecting them and take their eye off the ball in terms of the kidneys. By the time its noticed, its often very late in the day and too late. Acute kidney injury describes the sudden shut-down of the kidneys.
If detected early enough, the condition can be treated by giving patients extra fluids or putting them on a dialysis machine. The condition can also be caused by nsaid (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) painkillers and ace inhibitor drugs, and doctors are urged to stop prescribing these immediately if patients are affected. It is rarely recorded on death certificates, because doctors dont realise patients are suffering from. Dr Mark Thomas, a kidney specialist at the heart of England nhs trust in Birmingham who helped draw up the guidelines, said acute kidney injury killed more people than any of the common cancers. He added: In the past, the care for this condition has not always been uniformly good, partly because the patients have tended to present to a range of non-specialists who may have been unfamiliar with the best prevention and treatment of the condition. Many hospitals and healthcare professionals have been doing an excellent job in watching out for acute kidney injury in their patients, but unfortunately this good practice is not seen everywhere.
Mrs Aston (pictured with her daughter, Tracy holmes) was initially misdiagnosed with pneumonia when she was admitted to redditch Alexandra hospital before x-rays revealed she had inoperable lung cancer. As they finally received a formal apology from the hospital, Mrs Astons family yesterday spoke of their ongoing distress about the way she was left to die with so little dignity. Her daughter Tracy holmes, 51, who lived close to her mother and father Robert, 80, in evesham, worcestershire, said medical staff deprived her dying mother of basic human dignity in her final days. My mother was left dehydrated, with no monitoring of her fluid or food intake, she added. We constantly found her freezing cold, with cracked bleeding lips and in considerable distress due to her discomfort and desperate thirst. We even took to bringing her ice lollies because the hospital was unable to provide oral sponges.
We fear that if we had not been there then Mum would have received nothing at all. She said the care received by her mother was appalling and no better than that given to a helpless animal. After three days of persistent complaints, nurses finally began using wet sponges on Mrs Astons lips. The trusts chief nursing officer Helen Blanchard has written to Mrs Holmes, offering a heartfelt and sincere apology. She added: we have taken action to improve care. Mrs Aston (pictured with her husband, robert, in 1983) was left freezing cold, dehydrated and in great discomfort by staff at the hospital. Her family say that her lips cracked because they were so dry. The new guidelines come amid growing concern about the standard of nhs care, with several damning reports highlighting appalling neglect in some hospitals. Nice says the condition cannot be blamed on poor nursing, because it often develops before patients are admitted to hospital, but experts say nhs staff are not doing enough to detect the illness and prevent it from getting worse.
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Tens of thousands of these deaths are due to dehydration and are avoidable with lab better care, with one kidney expert accusing doctors and nurses of taking their eye off the ball. The latest estimate is far higher than any previous figure. In 2009, a care quality commission write report said the number dying in hospitals because of dehydration was just 900 a year. The family of Sandra Aston, 79, have told how they smuggled ice lollies in to redditch Alexandra hospital after nurses left her so thirsty her lips cracked and bled. Mrs Aston was treated like an animal by nurses, who claimed they could not help when her family begged them to act as she became increasingly dehydrated. While she was too weak to drink from a cup, her thirst could have been quenched with oral sponges. But staff did not provide these, leaving her family to feed her ice lollies they bought outside.
Nice issuing guidelines to help staff prevent deaths from for condition. Estimated a fifth of patients attending a e every year suffer from the illness. Published: 00:00 bst, updated: 01:41 bst, tens of thousands of patients are dying needlessly in hospital every year from kidney failure linked to dehydration, nhs officials have revealed. They calculate that up to 42,000 deaths a year would be avoided if staff ensured patients had enough to drink and carried out simple tests. Nice, the nhs watchdog, is today issuing guidelines to staff to help them prevent deaths from the condition known as acute kidney injury which is common in the elderly and patients with heart disease, diabetes and blood infections. Tracy holmes said she had to smuggle ice lollies in to hospital after nurses left her mother Sandra Aston so thirsty her lips cracked and bled. Mrs Aston was admitted to redditch Alexandra hospital in April last year suffering with inoperable lung cancer and secondary liver cancer. It is estimated that a fifth of all patients attending a e every year one million people suffer from the illness, of whom an estimated 210,000 die.
how to feel stunning in your swimsuit (with a little help from Sarah Sapora). People, these are the foods that cause the most illnesses, the cdc says. Self, heres how many hours youll spend stuck in traffic during your life. Best Lists, medical, nutrition, fitness, workout routines, health Videos. Thousands dying of thirst on nhs: Watchdog forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water. Tens of thousands dying in hospital from kidney failure linked to dehydration. Nhs officials calculate up to 42,000 deaths a year could be avoided.
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