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Genuinely puzzled ...


suein56

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Whilst I have sympathy for the family and for those that have medical conditions that seriously effect their weight I don't for those that simply gorge themselves. Without knowing the details about how the guy died I can't pass comment although in some cases the caring family have effectively killed the person by constantly feeding them.

Anyway, the main thrust of this was not having the amenities i.e. a big enough fridge. I have to say (and probably like many other) it's not something I would have thought about. I wonder how funeral parlors deal with this sort of thing? Perhaps one of them does have storage for large people and he could have been sent there? With the best will in the world I can't see its the hospitals problem.

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 I think the problem here is that the corpse was left to deteriorate, goodness knows an 'open coffin' would not be my choice but  a relative was found dead,  obviously after a  period of time, and as the coroner tactfuly said we couldn't pay our 'last respects'.

It's not pleasant to think of a loved one like this... together with the shock of death I'm not surprised the family are upset. It's pretty gross to think of a loved one being left to rot when you are already grieving

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I worked in pathology labs for 30 years in various parts of the UK, and it's true that we had a problem with very obese people who had died in hospital or needed a PM, especially in older premises. However the use of the very emotive phrase "left to rot" is, in my experience, far from the truth. Any remains which were not undergoing autopsy were decently covered or properly wrapped in sheets, whether in the mortuary fridge or not. Evidently this problem is becoming more common, and hospitals are being equipped to deal with it, from stronger wheelchairs, bigger beds, etc...........

I do have sympathy for the family, not being able to have the funeral they wanted.

FairyNuff
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It's terrible for the family, of course. But in my (admittedly, limited) experience, a hospital is very keen for the family to appoint an undertaker to remove the deceased asap - within a day or so. Maybe things would have been better if that had happened. (Or maybe not.)

It sounds like a possible breakdown in communications between the hospital and the family.

Angela
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[quote user="Russethouse"]

 I think the problem here is that the corpse was left to deteriorate, goodness knows an 'open coffin' would not be my choice but  a relative was found dead,  obviously after a  period of time, and as the coroner tactfuly said we couldn't pay our 'last respects'.

It's not pleasant to think of a loved one like this... together with the shock of death I'm not surprised the family are upset. It's pretty gross to think of a loved one being left to rot when you are already grieving

[/quote]

I agree RH but if it was you in charge what would you do?

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Get them to the undertaker PDQ, didn't I read that everyone is embalmed these days whether or not they are being cremated or buried, how that works (or doesn't) with the need for refrigeration I have no idea.

In my experience coroners are usually very caring toward the bereaved, when our relative was found dead he was very tactful about the state of the body and when a close friend died very suddenly recently, he explained in some detail what had caused the death to the widow and children who were still at the stage of needing some sort of explanation. In this instance knowing there was nothing they could have done was important to them.

 It seems to me that somewhere along the line there has been a real breakdown of communication, and possibly tact.

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I like the OP am genuinely puzzled as to what else the hospital could have done under the circumstances.

 What the family of a very very fat person , or should that be seriously morbidly obese, thought was going to happen I don't know, maybe encourage their hefty relative to slim down  and discuss it with them.

 

I feel for lots of people on this planet, but I obviously have a cut off point and this has simply annoyed me. It isn't as if death is something that any of us avoid. No reason not to discuss our wishes and practicalities with our families.

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The NHS Trust that I work for is having to buy beds and equipment capable of taking very obese people - the equipment includes chairs, hoists etc. These cause operational problems as they have to be transferred between wards as and when required.

This case has made it in to the national news - which means it is a rare occurence. Should every trust be equipped with mortuary fridges that are capable of taking extremely obese people. As they are rarely required it would mean that the capital expenditure might not be justified plus larger fridges will require more space. Space costs money and with the increase of clinical advances there is a need for additional space for the various new clinics. Hospitals have brick walls not rubber walls and finding any space is a major difficulty.

There was the case of someone who is extremely overweight in the media recently. Naturally, he does not work but spends his time lying in bed. They listed what he has for each meal. Think he has for a single breakfast the equivalent of what I eat a week and I am overwieght. No doubt he gets addtional social allowance payments to pay for the food.

Paul

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 I guess a bigger fridge could also be used by slimmer people when  not needed for the obese......but surely 1 or 2 facilities in an area, shared between hospitals, would be a possibility, esp as it looks as if the need for this will increase rather than decrease in the future...
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It seems to me that there may be a lot more to this than meets the eye. For instance was an autopsy required by law (probably not, does not fit the requirement)? How long did it take for the family to be informed? Did they have a problem finding a funeral company to take him because they didn't have the 'storage' facilities? Was the family broke and did not have money for the funeral? How long was he left there? Not knowing much about decomposition and looking it up it seems that this is the third out of  five stages and I would imagine that the mortuary in the hospital is air conditioned and kept at around 18 deg C according to the HSE requirements which would slow things down so in short he would have been there a while which is a little strange perhaps?

Likewise I don't think this can be a one off case either and if not what normally happens?

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With my experience recently the hospital would only keep my OH in cold storage for a max of 6 days as is the law here, before embalming by an undertaker had to be taken on again as decreed by law in France and that would cost from €300 plus a daily storage rate extra. Thankfully we managed to get the obseques organised and people here by the fifth day and all ended well. He would have been furious at having money spent on him like that.
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Isn't that why people have whole of life assurance ? So these costs can be met without dipping into the budget of loved ones ? I have a small policy I have kept on because none of knows what the future holds, funerals are expensive and I don't want my loved ones to be concerned about the cost of it when the moment comes.
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