Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Patient's 'life saved' by tea lady after blood leak

A woman claims her life was saved by a tea lady after nurses failed to spot that a line in one of her arteries had started to leak blood overnight.

Paule Ripley, who was a patient at Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital, had to have two blood transfusions after a cannula top fell off.

Mrs Ripley said the tea lady alerted nurses when she spotted the bed sheets soaked in blood the following morning.

The hospital said it had launched an investigation.

'Puddle of blood'

Mrs Ripley, of Gosport, Hampshire, was admitted to hospital after suffering arrhythmia but did not receive a bed until later that night.

She said a line was later inserted into her pulmonary artery but the cannula fell off leading to the leak.

"At about midnight a doctor came in and put a line in and that's all I knew until the next morning when a tea lady came in and noticed the bed had turned red," she said.

"It was like Psycho gone mad. I was virtually unconscious."

The pensioner said her room was close to the nurses's work station and her door had been open.

"If they had got up and done the rounds as nurses used to do they would have seen the bed turn red," she added.

"It was soaked from the bottom and I was lying in a puddle of blood and it was soaking up to the top."

Mrs Ripley said because she was on Warfarin - a anti-clotting drug - it could have made the leak worse.

Portsmouth NHS Hospital Trust said: "The trust has received Mrs Ripley's recent correspondence which is being fully investigated."

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