Anorexic woman being tube fed at home due to Covid-19 hospital pressures
Posted on 21st January 2021 at 20:52
Court told woman has made some progress but there are concerns about her over-exercising
A vulnerable young woman with severe anorexia is being tube fed at home by her mother due to Covid-19 related pressures on the hospital system, the High Court has heard.
The woman, aged in her 20s, was made a ward of court and admitted to hospital last summer because of a serious decline in her weight and Body Mass Index. High Court orders, sought by the HSE in the wardship proceedings, permitted her to be fed by naso-gastric tube.
The court heard the woman has made some progress since then but her treating clinician says her situaiton remains serious and that she continues to lack insight into the severity of it and has exhibited concerning behaviours including over-exercising.
She had been permitted some hours of home leave but, as a result of Covid-19, the home leave has had to be extended and she now effectively remains at home, a situation she is very happy with, the court was told.
Her family have been extremely supportive of her continung treatment and her mother has undergone training so as to be able to continue the naso-gastric feeding at home.
The family share the treating clinician’s view the woman is at a critical stage in her treatment and ideally requires an in-patient treatment programme.
The president of the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, granted an application on Thursday by Paticia Hill BL, for the HSE, for orders permitting the woman to remain at home but also permitting her to be returned to hospital if she fails to adhere to her treatment plan or should her condition deteriorate.
The judge made orders retainining the treating clinician to oversee her treatment, saying she considered that was very important as the woman remains vulnerable.
It is clear the woman’s condition is such that, in normal circumstances, she should be having specialist in-patient treatment, the judge said.
It was “uplifting” to note she has been able to remain at home for a substantial period, albeit that was driven by Covid-19, with “tremendous support” from her family, especially her mother, the judge added.
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