A WIDOWER who tested positive for legionnaires’ disease had been discharged from hospital only days before despite displaying symptoms of the deadly bug.
David Jones, 77, was rushed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after he collapsed at his Parkhead home and was tested by doctors for legionella as soon as he arrived.
He was the 100th case to be recorded by health officials since the outbreak began in May after testing positive for the disease on Wednesday.
Today his family expressed their fury after claiming he had been to his doctor three times since first noticing the symptoms in May, and had also visited the Western General Hospital twice – but had never been tested for the disease.
His family revealed he had also spent 24 hours at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary ten days earlier after being admitted with chest pains, extreme lethargy and a rash.
Mr Jones’ daughter, Carol, 48, said her father was told his symptoms were due to an irregular heartbeat and that no blood test was carried out.
She also told the News of her terror and anger when medical staff at the ERI called her in on Wednesday – only hours after Mr Jones was found collapsed at home – and asked for permission to take emergency action to restart her father’s heart after informing her he had tested positive for legionnaires’.
Ms Jones said: “I was frightened for my dad but my rage took right over. Why wasn’t it picked up when he was at hospital before? Why didn’t his GP pick it up?”
Ms Jones said her father had made numerous trips to his GP at Springwell Medical Centre since mid-May and that he was referred twice to the Western General before being admitted the ERI.
She said: “He went three or four times to his medical centre and was not told anything – just that what he had was due to an irregular heartbeat. They didn’t even do a blood test.
“He went three times to the hospital and was discharged even though he had all the signs of legionnaires’ disease.
“On Wednesday they took me in and said it was pretty grim, and that the next 12 to 14 hours was critical. My thoughts were I could be bringing my dad home dead.”
Ms Jones said her father’s condition had stabilised since he was admitted to the ERI last week. He is currently receiving treatment in a high-dependency unit and will shortly be transferred to a respiratory ward.
She added: “There might be other old folk that do not feel very well and feel that the doctors are not listening to them. I think it’s diabolical.”
Dr David Farquharson, NHS Lothian medical director, said last night: “We are unable to comment on individual cases without the consent of the patient involved.”
News of Mr Jones’ illness comes after it was confirmed yesterday that another individual had tested positive for legionnaires’ disease, bringing the total number of cases in the Edinburgh outbreak to 101. The total number of confirmed cases is 53 and the number of suspected cases remains at 48.