To feel silly that I rang 111 and they sent paramedics?

(66 Posts)
TypicallyEnglishMustard Mon 11-Jan-16 23:16:13

Hi, I'm sat here feeling a bit ridiculous.

I have asthma, and I've been coughing like crazy the last ten days, bringing up loads of mucus (sorry), but no cold or anything, felt fine in myself so carried on as normal, just been using my inhaler loads more than I normally would.

I felt weird this evening, and the cough was way worse, then I suddenly felt like I couldn't catch my breath properly, and was feeling dizzy and had pain in the middle of my chest. Used my inhaler, but felt no better, and started to panic. My fiancé rang 111, and I thought they'd maybe direct us to the OOH clinic, but paramedics were called out to us instead. Really great, because I was really starting to panic, and was having waves of feeling like, "I can't breathe, I really can't breathe."

Anyway, lovely paramedics came, and examined me really thoroughly, but my chest was absolutely clear, nothing wrong at all... I basically just have a really bad cough but deluded myself into thinking it was worse. So I got paramedics out at night for a cough.

AIBU to feel that was silly and I need to calm down next time, or is it okay that we rang 111? I feel so embarrassed that that's what they came out for.

MammaTJ Mon 11-Jan-16 23:20:39

A 10 year old boy local to me dies of asthma last year.

Please never underestimate the impact this can have. Not ever!

It is much better to over react than to under react. I cannot state this clearly enough, or often enough!

My best friends DS, who was best friends with this boy keeps asking 'Why did it happen mummy?'. You do not want that to be your close ones asking that question!

So yes, YABU to feel silly about the paramedics coming because you were struggling to breath!
BUT YANBU that they attended to you!

kormachameleon Mon 11-Jan-16 23:21:23

Shortness of breath in an asthmatic should be checked out - asthma kills

They oils rather check you and you be fine then the alternative

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Mon 11-Jan-16 23:21:37

I work in A&E & you would not believe the minor crap that 111 sends ambulances to ( not saying that's you at all). It's a shambolic system driven by badly programmed computers

turquoisetoad Mon 11-Jan-16 23:21:48

Please don't feel silly. I too, have asthma and it can be very frightening at times. Maybe go to the doctor for a check up when you can? My asthma gets a lot worse when I have a chest infection or bad cough and you may need some antibiotics. The paramedic won't resent being called to what could have potentially been a life-threatening situation - it's their job. Hope you feel better soon.

WorraLiberty Mon 11-Jan-16 23:21:50

You weren't to blame that they sent the paramedics.

Also, if they didn't have any to spare at the time I'm sure they would have directed you elsewhere.

That's the awful thing about breathing problems (same with dizziness), panic makes it worse but of course you're going to panic if you feel you can't breath or you're going to pass out.

Hope you're feeling better thanks

TheAnswerIsYes Mon 11-Jan-16 23:22:13

Don't feel embarrassed by this. The operator wouldn't have sent paramedics if they didn't think it necessary.

I'm glad you are okay.

BieneBiene Mon 11-Jan-16 23:22:58

Totally okay. I have been told off for not calling earlier with asthma and told some scary statistics. They said they would rather I went in/called and was fine than I didn't see them.

I hope your chest gets better soon. It's horrible when you can't breathe flowers

BrideOfWankenstein Mon 11-Jan-16 23:23:58

YABU to feel silly. That is all.

Cirsium Mon 11-Jan-16 23:25:12

YABVU. My DM had a friend who died from an asthma attack. The doctor told her DH that adult women with asthma are most likely to not call for/accept help quickly enough. You have a potentially serious condition, you took the right course of action and the call handler felt it was serious enough to get you checked out. Don't feel embarrassed. They are perfectly happy to tell malingerers and hypochondriacs (like my DH) to get lost.

Hope you feel better soon.

Eva50 Mon 11-Jan-16 23:25:38

It's fine. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I phoned NHS 24 once when ds3 had croup. I just wanted an appointment to see the Dr. I drive and am approximately 3 minutes from the hospital and just wanted to bring him over but they sent an ambulance c/w blue light and siren. Embarrassing.

Hope you feel better soon.

liz70 Mon 11-Jan-16 23:26:33

Absolutely not U at all - being unable to breathe must be terifying. Don't feel bad at all. Asthma is a killer; far better that you were checked by paramedics with emergency reuscitation equipment even if it did turn out to be a false alarm, than the alternative. Hope your cough is soon better. flowers

blueistheonlycolourwefeel Mon 11-Jan-16 23:28:22

111 cause more than 50% of the ambulance service's ridiculous workload.
YOU did the right thing. 111 is run by people who have no medical training, reading from an algorithm on a computer. It's worse than useless.

Junosmum Mon 11-Jan-16 23:29:31

They did it to me, I was having palpitations, nothing serious, just more than usual. first responder then a flippin ambulance under blues and twos. I felt like a muppet, but I asked them not to, they were insistent. If we want the NHS to save money, that's where I'd start!

CraftyMissus Mon 11-Jan-16 23:34:43

I used to have asthma as a kid... Its horrible. Don't feel silly for ending up with paramedics. 111 and other services use a risk list, more boxes you tick off the list the faster you get a response...

I ended up scoring 4/6 on the risks while on the phone to my own GP a couple of years ago, after asking for an appointment that morning. Was going to crawl to Drs in my own sweet time but was told ambulance was already on the way. Paramedics came out to discover a 26 yr old with severe tonsillitis.

Sidge Mon 11-Jan-16 23:35:45

Well 111 did the right thing really - a known asthmatic, with worsening cough and significant shortness of breath. Of course that needed a rapid response; asthma attacks are serious and can kill. You can't tell over the phone whether someone is having an acute exacerbation of their asthma, or a panic attack but better to send a paramedic rather than route you to OOH and have you die in the car on the way.

Don't be embarrassed OP. You did the right thing and IMO they made the right call. But please make an appointment to see your asthma nurse ASAP as your medication regimen may need review. In the meantime you can have up to 10 puffs of your blue inhaler (ideally through a large volume spacer) but call for help (I.e 999) if you've had 6-8 puffs via a spacer with no relief at all.

museypants Mon 11-Jan-16 23:39:01

I was in exactly the same situation as you this weekend and was sent to A&E by 111. It turned out I had a very serious infection and needed quite a lot of treatment. You just never know with asthma and shortness of breath and the doctors were clear I'd done the right thing to call. Don't feel silly.

Pobspits Mon 11-Jan-16 23:40:09

You should go to the GP tomorrow maybe you need steroids or a chest x Ray.

suitsyousir79 Mon 11-Jan-16 23:41:46

I used to work in an ambulance control room pre-111. Anyone with difficulty breathing and chest pain would automatically be graded high priority, add in having asthma as well and it went higher still. As previous posters said asthma can be fatal, so it sounds like a reasonable response to me. Someone like you needed an ambulance more than my least favourite caller who demanded an ambulance take her to hospital because she had a ring stuck on her finger (with no other symptoms).

lougle Mon 11-Jan-16 23:45:14

It sounds like you hyperventilated. It's catch 22:

You're short of breath, so the panic makes you breathe more rapidly, which blows off your carbon dioxide. Then, the lack of carbon dioxide causes blood vessels to contract in the brain, reducing the oxygen supply and causing dizziness, tingling sensations and anxiety. The anxiety makes you breathe more rapidly....rinse and repeat. Also, salbutamol can cause tremor and anxiety, etc., itself.

It was absolutely right of the 111 service to send an ambulance. Nobody can tell over the phone if someone is hyperventilating or having an asthma attack.

If you think you're hyperventilating, breathing into a paper bag helps. But obviously, don't delay getting help if you can't decide whether it's an asthma attack or hyperventilation - better to get help every time and waste someone's time than delay getting help the one time you really need it and it's too late.

Hellochicken Mon 11-Jan-16 23:47:31

I agree with sidge and hope it doesn't put you off getting checked out. Your description and the lead up to it sound like it could have been an asthma attack, I'm glad you are ok.

One of the mums in my children's school died of an asthma attack last year.

Mmmmcake123 Mon 11-Jan-16 23:49:10

Don't feel bad but more importantly don't be put off if you have similar symptoms again, as next time it may not be panic. We're very lucky to have services to hand but they are in place for a reason so you shouldn't feel unreasonable. You did as advised and rang 111, do so again if you ever have any doubts

duckyneedsaclean Mon 11-Jan-16 23:52:27

111 always sends paramedics ime.

Anyway, better safe than sorry.

PeachPantaloons Mon 11-Jan-16 23:55:24

One of the triggers for an ambulance being sent out under emergency conditions is being unable to breathe, it's serious and a potential risk to life.

The NHS is also risk averse so would want to make sure you were okay. Don't feel bad, it's the calls for stubbed toes etc. that somehow get through for an ambulance call out that wind people up, not trouble breathing which always has the potential to be serious!

Hope you feel better soon smile

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Mon 11-Jan-16 23:56:08

paramedics came out because you could not breathe properly. that is enough of a reason for them to come. asthma can go pear shaped quite quickly and breathing is rather essential.

ps I always joked that someone would end up ringing an ambulance as they had cut their finger.. then shown me and I had promptly passed out and whacked my head on something/did do a life threatening/limb breaking injury

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