An allergy sufferer claims she almost died in hospital when staff gave her food and medicine that caused her severe allergic reactions TWICE.
Leah Watts, 28, said she was “thought she was going to die” after her lips began to swell and she struggled to breathe as she was being treated in hospital.
Leah, who is allergic to gluten, dairy, e-numbers and nine types of medication, dashed to hospital after suffering a reaction whilst eating her lunch earlier this month.
She claims she gave staff three copies of her list of allergies after they lost the first two copies to avoid being given anything that would cause a further reaction.
She suffered secondary reaction later that evening but days she had another life-threatening reaction at the Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex.
She claims it was it was because was a given a fruit pot to eat which contained e-numbers.
Days later she suffered another reaction when she was given medicine with the sugar lactulose in it which she says should not have been.
Leah first arrived at the hospital at 2.30pm on Tuesday, November 12 and was stable before suffering a secondary reaction at 5.30pm.
During her reaction, Leah’s lips swell, she develops a rash and she struggles to breathe so needs an epi-pen to relieve her symptoms.
Two days later Leah claims she was offered some food including a fruit pot and a ham salad by a nurse.
She said; “I asked her to check whether it was safe for me to eat and she said she would double check with the kitchen.
“She came back and said: ‘Yep it’s safe for you to eat.’
“I had one slice of ham and two mouthfuls of fruit pot when my it felt like my tongue had pins and needles.
I knew that I was having another reaction so I pressed the buzzer for help.
“A nurse came and I explained what happened and she told me she had called for a doctor and walked away.
“I could barely talk at this point so I pressed the buzzer again and it was the same nurse who said she had called the doctor.
“I was really scared because I was struggling to breathe so I texted my sister-in-law and my parents who were at a funeral at the time rushed to the hospital.
Leah said she was left 45 minutes while having a reaction until another nurse saw her and got a doctor right away.
Her oxygen levels has dropped from 100 per cent to just 72 per cent.
Leah added: “When my mum saw me she couldn’t believe the state I was in.”
The family later found out from a nurse that the syrup in the fruit pot Leah had been given did in fact contain e-numbers.
On Saturday November 16, Leah was told she could go home after her morning medication was administred.
The doctor said Leah needed to be given some lactulose and she explained she has serious allergies to e-numbers.
Leah continued: “I asked if I could have it and she read the ingredients and said it was just sugar. But then again I started having a reaction and I just thought: ‘I can’t believe it’s happening again’.”
Thankfully Leah was given her epi-pen and her condition began to improve.
After her experience Leah has vowed never to go back to Queens Hospital in Romford and said she thought her life was at risk.
Louise added: “I was ignored, given food and medicine that I was allergic too, it was just awful.
“I’d rather be at home because at least I know my mum won’t give me anything I’m allergic too.
“It’s a hospital, it’s supposed to be somewhere you feel safe but I felt the opposite.
“I was only supposed to be there two days but I was there for five. They’re supposed to help you get better but they were making me worse.”
“It was just awful, I was so scared just being there.”
Kathryn Halford, chief nurse and deputy chief executive, said: “We’re extremely sorry and disappointed to hear about Leah’s experience.
“Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service is there to support our patients and resolve any issues, so we would encourage Leah to get in touch as soon as possible so we can look into this further for her.
“It’s really important that our patients raise their concerns with us so we can learn from them, and ensure the same doesn’t happen again.”