My dad suffered a stroke early afternoon at the nursing home and he was left by himself.

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until 19H30 before the night nurse phoned us. We rushed him off to the nearest hospital and were then informed by the doctor that a stroke, if detected and treated within the 3hour 'window' period, can have a much better result than if it is only treated long afterwards. My dad was left on his own in a chair and they said they thought he was just sleepy all afternoon. He was in bad shape when we got to him and were now told that his hip is also badly 'out'. He cannot speak now and he is not looking good. Coupled with his dementia, it is very difficult to know when he looks at us, if he understands anything. We are furious with the nursing home, whom we haven't heard from since the stroke. Has anyone else experienced anything similar?


Lawsuit time vs. NH
Seenypa, I'm so sorry that this occured.!

It is true that prompt treatment *can* improve outcomes in stroke patients. It doesn't always. I don't think it was a particularly helpful remark on the part of the ER doctor (it equates to "I wouldn't start from here"); though perhaps he was listing reasons why he didn't intend to treat your father's stroke more aggressively? - and the time lag would be among those reasons.

Stroke is not necessarily easy to distinguish at a glance from the symptoms of dementia plus the symptoms of being elderly and wanting a nap. It is reasonable to ask the nursing home for a detailed account of your father's day and what care he received, particularly the times when he was checked up on and what observations were logged; but don't assume that the staff were negligent. Stroke is not always obvious.

What happened with the hip? - did he fall from his chair, or when he was helped up? I very much hope that the hospital will be able to get him comfortable quickly.
Thanks Babalou.
Churchmouse, it is true. See the link above so kindly offered by Mulata. More than one doctor at the hospital has said it. They can deal with it more effectively when detected within a 3-hr period. My dad now is paralysed on the one side, cannot speak, and he always chatted or sang all day, all the time. He did not wake I presume to eat, because he was in all this pain and suffering. He cannot sit now, because his hip is out, so it is virtually impossible for them NOT to have picked it up. To the trained eye, this would have been addressed immediately, because the night carer, immediately phoned us and said it is serious. If she could then the day staff should have too.
Seenypa; My mom had a stroke 3 years ago, when she was 90. She was not a candidate for the clot busting drug at the time, not because of time frame but because of the kind of stroke she had. But we were also told at the time that using that drug on frail elderly folks can do much damage. I don't recall the specifics.

This of course doesn't excuse the delay in staff noticing that your dad was having problems.
Seenypa, I would hate for you to think I'm not really sorry about your dad. What's happened is horrible, and I am sorry for that, truly. My mother had four known strokes - little one, little one, big one, massive one - over around two years, so I do understand how cruel it is.

But what I mean is, if you imagine yourself working in an NH, and a resident is dozing, you don't every time shake him awake and check him for stroke symptoms. It doesn't work like that.

The outcome improvements are true in epidemiological terms, in that overall you get better outcomes the faster you treat; but it doesn't mean that every stroke is treatable. My mother's last stroke happened in hospital, on the stroke ward, while I was talking to the nurses.

I just think that assuming that everything would have been turned out differently if the staff had caught your dad's stroke earlier is going to be a form of torture for you. Find out exactly what happened, step by step, before you come to any conclusions.
I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Many months before my mom died, during a stay in a rehab after a fall, she had a stroke. The kind and caring staff noticed immediately. I was sitting in the room with her and did not notice anything was wrong. The symptom? Her right eye was drooping. They immediately rushed her to the hospital for intervention. I have been so thankful that they noticed even when I didn't notice a thing and intervened so quickly.

I can't imagine how upset you must be...and that you must be going through the "what if" spin over and over again. The only consolation I can offer is the same as Babalou...if they HAD noticed earlier and took him to the hospital, would that have changed the treatment? Would they have done something differently? Done a surgery to relieve the bleeding? Given him a different drug? Probably not due to his other conditions.

But if I were in your place I'd be hurting and angry just like you.

Of course you are furious with the nursing home as would be most people. However it would depend on the training of the staff on duty whether they would be able to tell the difference between a stroke and sleepiness. The average Aide has little training and those who are interested learn by experience and can have a high skill level. The pay for an aide in a NH is so poor that they tend not to attract the best help.
What kind of dementia does your Dad have? If it is vascular dementia chances are that he has had multiple small strokes or TIAs that everyone has overlooked. This one may just have been the big one after a series of others..
It is true that treating a stroke caused by a clot not a bleed with the "clot busting" drug can greatly reduce the after effects. However there is a very long list of reasons why it should not be given and Drs are very careful to establish the kind of stroke before they use this drug.
It is very sad that your Dad has experienced this major set back but try and concentrate on what may be the last short time of his life. Sit with him, talk to him, read to him, massage his arms and legs and above all sit quietly and just hold his hand. It will bring him great comfort to have loved ones at his side even if he can not acknowledge your presence. If he is a man of faith a visit from a priest or minister can bring great comfort.
Try and be in the present and leave blame and legal action for later when everyone is calmer. Concentrate on Dad the days ahead. Blessings to you and Dad
How is your dad today?
How are you?
Found some good advice and help here?
I reacted "from my gut" to what you posted. I do agree with the comment regarding showing love and support to your dad at this point. It is extremely scary for him to be "in there" and cannot do what he could do just days ago. Be patient and supportive of him. He has suffered a life altering trauma. Learn as much as possible about his particular type of stroke. Attend meetings in hospital that offer support to YOU.

We're here, come back and tell us what you think.

and sometimes the clot busting drug can cause more bleeding.. if they are given it at our hospital they are admitted to the ICU because of this. Please don;t feel guilty, or blame the home. I agree that they may have thought he was napping, and that is what happens when they have strokes at home too.. I know it happened to us!

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