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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Haemophiliac John Rapley accuses Maidstone hospital of putting lives at risk without having life-saving medication to hand

03 March 2014
by Claire McWethy

Teacher John Rapley was rushed to A&E following a motorbike crash in Teston, only to wait more than four hours for an urgent injection.

His condition means his blood does not clot, which can lead to serious internal bleeding if untreated.

John Rapley with one of his injuries

John Rapley with one of his injuries

But the 31-year-old of Orchard Close, Maidstone, was asked to wait while extra stocks of a clotting agent was transferred from Pembury.

Concerned Mr Rapley phoned Kent and Canterbury Hospital and arranged to drive there instead, where he was treated straight away.

He then discovered the haematologist there had spoken to staff at Maidstone, and advised they transfer him if they couldn’t immediately give him the medication.

The crash left Mr Rapley with a sprained foot and severe bruising to his thigh and hip.

He said: “I was very fortunate, I came away conscious and alive, but the wait meant I was bleeding for longer.

"My injuries weren’t life-threatening but my recovery time was massively affected and I’m going to have limited mobility for eight weeks.”

It is not the first time Mr Rapley faced delays for treatment.

Following a motorcycle accident in 2011 he went to A&E at Maidstone Hospital, only to be kept waiting eight hours.

Blood vials

Blood vials

His condition was not explained to doctors and when he was eventually seen, Mr Rapley claims the medication was found locked away where staff were unable to access it.

Mr Rapley, who teaches at Meadows special needs school in Southborough, said: “It was an absolute farce. You can forgive it once but not when it happens for a second time.

“If I had been worse, if the internal bleeding had been in my stomach, it could have been life-threatening.”

"If I had been worse, if the internal bleeding had been in my stomach, it could have been life-threatening..." - John Rapley

He has since written to the chief executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and Maidstone MP Helen Grant.

A trust spokesperson said: “When we treat any patient, our priority is their safety and we must be absolutely sure the right treatment is given, which can sometimes lead to the patient remaining in our care for a longer period of time.

“We haven’t yet received a complaint from Mr Rapley but if and when we do, we will be happy to look into his concerns and discuss them with him.

“In the meantime, we will be reviewing our processes and investigating what happened in relation to this particular case.”

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