Hospice didn't kill my sister, BUT

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Hospice didn't kill my sister but .....My sister basically bled to death at HOME!!!!! She was throwing up blood all night, Hospice came the next day and gave her a suppository ??????????? and left her!! They never came back to check on her, even after begging and pleading from her daughter for some help with symptom control. My sister was freaking and scared to death! It took until that night to get Hospice to allow her to be taken by ambulance (even though they would not help) She was comatose by that time and had lost 80% of her blood volume! She died the next morning in a nasty HOSPITAL emergency room bed!!!! NOT in the inpatient hospice comfortable bed surrounded by loving family that she was promised!!! I am LIVID, HURT, and will NOT shut up about this!!! She deserved better!! They have not once called my 19 year old niece who was her main caregiver, who had to watch her Mom basically bleed to death in their home!!! and she died 2 weeks ago!!! As a matter of fact, they have even ignored calls to come pick up their equipment!! They did not drug her to death, but definitely did not give her any relief at all of these horrible symptoms and did not help make it any easier on my niece or get her in to inpatient hospice as the Hospice director promised my sister that day in the hospital in my presence!! This was NOT a peaceful death by far!! Up until this, all my experiences with Hospice had been wonderful. I assured my sister this was the right choice. Now I also live with that regret, along with tons of others concerning her death. I will NEVER recommend Hospice to another soul :-(

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I would report them. The patient is to be kept comfortable at all times. Not left to an inexperienced teen. Please come back and tell us what happened. If Medicare doesn't help there has to be a state agency. Some hospices are connected to a Hospital. Maybe your state Ombudsmen? Such a horrible experience for this child to remember. You have a right to be angry. Don't allow anyone to intimidate you.
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I’m very sorry for your loss. GA makes great suggestions for you above. I hope you can find some resolution to this
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Katie, I am sorry for your loss as well as the trauma which accompanied it. I think you have a right to be angry, and I hope you do something about it. Posting here can offer support, but taking action through proper channels can do more.

First, document as much as you can remember.

Second, and I don't know this but perhaps others do. Since some aspects of hospice care is reimbursed by Medicare, I assume it oversees hospice providers.

So, notify Medicare of the situation, documenting w/o being accusatory, and ask for a review of this hospice company's policies and actions. I don't believe Medicare would need specific authorization to review your sister's medical records, so they could go ahead and do that if needed.

The review should be more than just the information that's submitted for payment; it should be of her actual medical records.

That's one good reason why you should immediately document everything you've written here as well as other abuses.

Third, I don't know if it would be of any use to complain to the hospice company, and I don't think I would. Let Medicare with its clout handle that. When you get a report, and assuming abuses are documented, then contact your local representatives and ask them to get involved to ensure this doesn't happen again. They can leverage the incident to gain points with their voters, which is probably the best motivation for them (other than the really good ones who are sincerely interested in their constituency).

And attention needs to be brought against these kinds of abuses anyway.

Fourth, you could notify the hospice company that if their equipment isn't picked up by a certain date, it will either be donated or set out for trash pickup.

Fifth, you didn't indicate what your sister's conditions were that caused the hemorrhaging. Was that part of her terminal disease? I would be sure of that before making accusations and reporting this company to Medicare.

I hope that as you follow through with action against this company, that you are able to feel that you're at some level bringing justice to bear for your deceased sister.
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I'm so sorry for your loss Katie Sometimes if the person is in the hospital and there is a chance they won't make it, the hospital would make the choice of Hospice saying it would be best for the patient.
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I'm so sorry that happened to your sister and mom. Fear that I wouldn't get the support I needed and would have to shoulder the burden of end of life decisions on my own were one of the factors that lead to my placing my mom in a NH. Sitting vigil for days unsupported would be difficult enough, the traumatic symptoms you describe are well beyond what most untrained caregivers should ever be expected to deal with.
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