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Retired principal dies at Sando hospital
Grieving relatives of retired principal Arnold Buckridan are demanding answers after the 68-year-old Penal resident died from septicaemia and organ failure on Tuesday night at San Fernando General Hospital. Buckridan, 68, of Rock Road, Penal, was warded after complaining of feeling unwell after chemotherapy for colon cancer last Monday. He was placed in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) after his condition deteriorated days later when he became unresponsive. He died at 10.30 pm in the HDU.
Relatives said they believed that the father of three and grandfather of one, who served as principal of Penal Rock Presbyterian, died because of neglect while he was on Ward Nine.
Septicaemia, according to the MedlinePlus Web site, is “the presence of bacteria in the blood and is often associated with severe infections. The Web site says it is a “serious, life-threatening infection that gets worse very quickly. It can rapidly lead to adult respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock and death.”
Buckridan’s daughter, Zenobia, told the T&T Guardian her father was only transferred to the HDU after relatives complained that the 68-year-old was not looking well. “We want to know why he was not treated immediately,” she said. “Why they left him get to this state where he was unresponsive?” “They left it so long when there was a chance that he could recover. He was going into shock. When someone starts losing their senses that is an emergency case.
“He worked all his life to pay for us and they failed him like that...That is not fair.” Buckridan had recently recovered from major surgery and suffered with a heart condition which, Zenobia said, hospital officials were aware of. “Yet they did not pay attention to him,” she said. “Extra care was not taken, extra care was not given...Someone was not doing their job.” Buckridan’s death, Zenobia said, could have been avoided had someone paid attention to her father.
“He got really good treatment in the end, but the question that needs to be answered is what level of care he got before being moved to the High Dependency Unit...We are devastated,” she said.
Her father’s death, she said, had left the family with more questions than answers.
“We do not want this to happen to another family... Nobody should have to go through this,” Zenobia said.
“The thing is if when someone is really ill, you prepare yourself that they could die, but you cannot just see someone in good health, or at least responsive, just deteriorating... It does not add up.”
Buckridan’s funeral will be held today at 3 pm at the Penal Rock Presbyterian Church. He will be buried at Penal Rock Cemetery. San Fernando General Hospital Medical Chief of Staff Dr Anand Chatoorgoon confirmed Buckridan’s death. He said, however, that he was not informed that a complaint was made by relatives about the 68-year-old’s treatment on the ward. “I did not get a complaint that he was neglected on the ward...He received very good treatment at HDU,” he said. The Medical Chief of Staff said the HDU is “a place that we put patients who need very closely and intensive monitoring. “On the wards, we do not have as many nurses to look after them,” he added.
Chief Executive Officer, SWRHA:
“The South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) offers its condolences to the family of Mr Arnold Buckridan who passed away, Tuesday, at the San Fernando General Hospital. “SWRHA will contact the family to discuss their concerns and offer all necessary counselling in this situation.”
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