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to not understand why arriving at A+E in an ambulance gives you priority regardless to your injury?

(157 Posts)
elfsmamma Fri 27-Dec-13 19:51:08

We had the pleasure of spending this afternoon in A+E, dp had dislocated his shoulder.

Dp was in lots of pain, he couldn't walk, his arm was hanging down and he was crying, shaking and almost loosing consciousness.

We had to wait for ages, first for an x-ray and then for a Dr to give pain relief and eventually attempt to put the shoulder back in.

People kept saying to me "oh you should have called an ambulance, you would have been seen right away" "poor guy go and tell them he needs to be seen now"

When we eventually went in the lady in the next cubicle had bruised her foot, she had come in by ambulance so been taken directly in. She was happy as could be, chatting to us asking dp ( who couldn't speak easily) what was wrong with him.

Aibu to think that all patients should be judged on pain and severity of injury rather than method of arrival to casualty.

londonchick Fri 27-Dec-13 19:52:30

It doesn't give you priority. You are assessed on arrival by Ambulance and if well enough to wait you will wait. The assessment is exactly the same whether you walk in or arrive by Ambulance.

They don't get priority, if they've called an ambulance for something non life threatening they'll be triaged and wait, just the same as everybody else.

OhThePlacesYoullGo Fri 27-Dec-13 19:52:52

It doesn't.

maddy68 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:53:06

That's bit true, ambulance admittance still girls through triage, the paramedics assess en route, if it's not an 'emergency' they will wait their turn just the same

toobreathless Fri 27-Dec-13 19:53:10

Triage is independent of method if arrival.

So they are judged on clinical severity alone.

I have seen many people triaged from an ambulance and asked to take a seat in the waiting room.


maddy68 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:53:23

Not true!

Snowhoho Fri 27-Dec-13 19:53:49

It doesnt, thats what triage is for.

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 27-Dec-13 19:54:32

Bruised foot last probably attended to by the cleaner, your DP prolly waiting for someone who knows something about shoulders.

RabbitPies Fri 27-Dec-13 19:54:47

It doesn't.

pimmsgalore Fri 27-Dec-13 19:55:25

Trust me having had DS taken in in an ambulance (he cracked his head open in B&Q, they called the ambulance) it gets you a seat in the waiting room with everyone else. The ambulance triages you so you skip that part but we still had to wait 5 hours for 6 stitched hmm

toobreathless Fri 27-Dec-13 19:56:36

maddy do you work in A&E??

Triage doesn't mean you have to go into the triage cubicle it can often be done at the bedside or next to a stretcher by a nurse. Triage nurses are usually very experienced & can often triage at a glance & discussion with the ambulance crew.

RedLondonBus Fri 27-Dec-13 19:57:54

How did he do that pimms?

StephenKatzCrackerHat Fri 27-Dec-13 19:58:03

Yes, ambulance is a way of getting to A&E, but triage is completely seperate and patients are seen in order of need. I'm very surprised your A&E operates like that. Perhaps the lady with the 'bruised foot' had a medical history that you were unaware of that meant she had to be seen quickly? I'm thinking a clotting disorder or something along those lines.

SpikeyChristmasTree Fri 27-Dec-13 19:58:45

As others have said, arrival by ambulance does not get you seen faster. However, A & E often have several different clinics running at the same time. Ours has Nurse Practitioners, GPs etc so sometimes people arriving with seemingly trivial complaints are seen much quicker as they are being dealt with by different people than the more serious cases.

Fairylea Fri 27-Dec-13 19:59:27

It doesn't.

Maybe the woman with the bruised foot had underlying health problems (immune issues, bleeding and clotting issues or something else) that meant it needed attention more quickly.

Sometimes the people who seem the most well are actually the sickest. My gran was brought into a and E by ambulance because she had suffered a nasty fall and the gp was worried about her because she revealed she had been having black poo. When she reached hospital she was feeling much better and was annoyed they'd called her an ambulance. She was sitting up and chatting in the cubicle and flirting (aged 90)with the young male doctor she had.

She had numerous blood tests and other tests. They found she had terminal bowel cancer. She died 6 weeks later.

toobreathless Fri 27-Dec-13 19:59:31

Also you may see people being out into cubicles for various reasons who then are waiting in there rather than in the waiting room. Possibly due to potentially being infectious, distressed or whatever. They don't get seen any quicker. They are just waiting in the same queue in a different area.

Rubbish pimms poor DS, hope the experience wasn't too upsetting.

elfsmamma Fri 27-Dec-13 20:00:28

I think the problem was that people arriving by ambulance had gas and air, they couldn't just take the gas and air away from them and make them sit in the waiting room.

The Dr recommend that if it was to happen in future we call an ambulance as then dp could have effective pain relief right away.

I am glad to hear that it isn't policy to priorities ambulance arrivals, the only time I have arrived at casualty with someone in an ambulance they have been having breathing difficulties or a fit so obviously been seen right away.

I'm not sure why people with minor injuries don't just get a taxi!

NigellasDealer Fri 27-Dec-13 20:01:16

nope not true how quickly you are seen depends on where you are bleeding from....grin
(I'm from bleeding Romford do I get seen first?)

pimmsgalore Fri 27-Dec-13 20:02:20

Red it was a couple of years ago, he managed to get out of a five point harness and tip his pushchair over hitting the concrete floor hard with his forehead. I only had one hand on the pushchair, looking at something on shelf, so felt guilty for months after. We can laugh about it now but at the time it was scary. Fastest I've ever seen the B&Q staff move thoughgrin

elfsmamma Fri 27-Dec-13 20:03:26

Bruised foot lady I think possibly just was lonely and wanted a day out, she told me her entire life story, actually said her foot wasn't that bad but it was a good excuse to get out!

ElaClaw Fri 27-Dec-13 20:04:14

toobreathless - maddy was correcting her own typo from "bit true" to "not true", not commenting on your post smile

toobreathless Fri 27-Dec-13 20:04:32

Severe pain puts you into a higher triage category regardless if the cause.

And, obviously pain is as severe as the person perceives it to be....

Poor DH, dislocated shoulders are hideously painful.

toobreathless Fri 27-Dec-13 20:05:32

maddy very sorry! I am simultaneously eating chilli and feeding the baby.

PeriodFeatures Fri 27-Dec-13 20:07:43

A & E is fucked. That is why you had to wait. Imagine healthcare in a developing country, rooms full of people waiting, sitting on floors, not enough beds, 1 doctor and one nurse running about for literally days trying to stem an ever increasing tide of people. That is Britains NHS A & E. If you don't like it go private.

I hope your DH is feeling better.

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