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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.

AlexReidsLonelyBraincell Fri 27-Dec-13 20:09:47

Some people are fucking idiots.
I once dressed a superficial wound on a woman's palm where she had accidently cut herself with a knife.
She was telling me about how she had called an ambulance to get her there. I was incredulous and told her so. The paramedics have to attend, it takes the piss.

Some people use it as a taxi service, then you get other stoic buggers who insist on driving themselves while mid MI.

PigsInTinselToppedWellies Fri 27-Dec-13 20:10:59

My dad got taken to A&E by ambulance for indigestion. He wanted to drive himself but his doctor insisted on the ambulance. My dad then kept trying to get others seen before him because he only had bad indigestion and was embarassed about all the time he was wasting when there were people with much more serious problems. He'd actually had a massive heart attack but was in complete denial. So don't go by what the stranger in the next cubicle says, you don't know the truth of why they're there.

elfsmamma Fri 27-Dec-13 20:14:32

It was a bit of a shock, we don't actually live in the UK, the healthcare system seems less stretched where we live.

At the end we asked where/how we can sort out payment from the country we live in to the NHS, the Dr looked very surprised, went of to find someone to ask, then came back and said she had decided as dp wasn't admitted we didn't need to register and they didn't need to claim money!!

Dp is on the mend, relaxing on the sofa rather than energetic days out.

lougle Fri 27-Dec-13 20:16:57

I'm sorry you had a long wait.

In defence of A&E departments, I had to take DD3 to get her head glued yesterday (I was stupidly playing a physical game with her and accidentally cracked her head on the corner of the window alcove) and we were triaged within 15 minutes of arriving, then called through within 15 minutes of that, and out half an hour later; glued. Very impressive.

giraffesCantSledge Fri 27-Dec-13 20:17:09

It doesn't. I have walked in before and been taken through to A&E bit then in to resus, and same day saw people taken in by ambulance and sent out or left to wait on a trolley.

YouStayClassySanDiego Fri 27-Dec-13 20:19:54

Ds3 broke his wrist .

We drove him up to a+e and he wss assessed.

Seen immediately due to him being green and sweaty.

Still sent home that night despite an obvious injury and recalled next day for surgery.

Ubik1 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:25:47

I'm glad your husband is feeling better.

I remember speaking to a lovely young foreign student, he had a sore throat which was worsening. I told him he would have to wait for a callback from the nurse.

"How many days?" He said


Our health service is not perfect but is pretty good when the shit hits the fan. An acquaintance was hit with a bill for $1000 in New York for attending A&E with what turned out to be hangover.

NorthernLebkuchen Fri 27-Dec-13 20:26:33

Some info for you here OP just in case you need other services whilst visiting. Yes A&E treatment is free to you - so dp got a x ray, meds and doctor time all for no cost. I know you had to wait but it's not a bad deal really is it? My dh visited a&e in Seoul a year or so ago with cellulitis. The first thing they did was swipe his credit card.

Bearfrills Fri 27-Dec-13 20:29:45

Our A&E triages on arrival and if your complaint is not worthy of A&E you get directed to the minor injuries unit/walk-in GP next door.

We've been by ambulance once. DS split his head open, taxi refused to take us as he was bleeding and there was no one to give us a lift so ambulance it was. We still waited our turn in the waiting room.

wombat31 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:30:36

In my A and E the priority seems to go to those who are children over those in need! I went with a severe allergic reaction....lips/mouth swelling and was told to wait in the waiting room. Got lots of comments that I should be first in from other waiting people but a few children with broken fingers or nasty cuts got seen first! Went another time with another allergic reaction (I am a frequent visitor due to these) and was told I would be seen immediately upon which a gobby mother had a screaming do that she had been waiting longer and god forbid if I should go straight through as I had only just got there. Guess who got seen first?!

ouryve Fri 27-Dec-13 20:35:56

Last time I was in A&E for myself (10 years ago, mind!) I was seen almost immediately. I had gone via NHS direct, though and was told which one to go to, as they would be expecting me. It still took5 hours to be processed and admitted, though. I just had the benefit of an oxygen mask, while i waited.

Both of the boys have been taken, by car, to paediatric A&E at the same hospital, one after breakfast, and home for lunch. The other after tea and home for bedtime.

DizzyZebra Fri 27-Dec-13 20:38:54

OP - They took the gas off me when a bloke belted me with a bockan (big wooden sword) even though i was in horrible pain. (he smashed it over my knee because i told him to stop making fun of my friend who had had cancer).

Your a and e seems weird as ambulance doesn't mean priority here. The only people i know who get priority are those with existing conditions. Like my step mum has angina, theyve told her to ring an ambulance and she will get priority but shed get that either way once she got there and told them what was wrong - the only reason the ambulance comes into it is because its faster and they can warn ahead if it looks life threatening.

ilovemydoggy Fri 27-Dec-13 20:40:09

Things like this always make me feel guilty when i have to attend a&e. Due to previous medical conditions (oncology patient) i am always sent straight through to major's and to some people they must think they are worst then me and normally are. But no one wants to say to me wait just in case . It annoys me that i am sent so often but understand why they do it. So what you see as someone not as in much pain as your husband being first they may have other reasons why.

DizzyZebra Fri 27-Dec-13 20:40:56

Also what previous poster said about denial/not going bybwhat they say.

I was taken in with what i was convinced was a pulled muscle. It was in fact an ectopic pregnancy (didn't know i was pregnant) and it ruptured while i was there. But for the five hours previous i told various people id pulled a muscle riding a horse at work.

CaterpillarCara Fri 27-Dec-13 20:41:05

Wombat31- sorry to hear your story, but again remember you don't know ever the full background.

I got abused by several people when I took my daughter to A&E in July because she looked very well and we were given a side room very quickly and seen almost immediately. It was because she had an infectious illness so needed to be kept away from everyone else - it was all arranged by phone first. She had a serious complication which was not making her unwell at that point, but needed to be checked to ensure that it wasn't going to.

CaterpillarCara Fri 27-Dec-13 20:42:13

Oh yes, and denial is quite something. I was in total denial both times I went into labour... don't know why, am usually quite sane!!

PointyChristmasFairyWand Fri 27-Dec-13 21:02:18

Last and only time I was in A&E I was blue lighted in an ambulance following a car crash with a possible head injury - felt very very rough and was very glad to be seen immediately but when I'd been X-rayed and assessed and it turned out to be nothing much I did feel like a bit of a fraud... Staff were lovely and kept telling me better safe than sorry. Triage can't be an easy job.

lougle Fri 27-Dec-13 21:13:13

I once went to Out of Hours with a migraine and was rushed straight around to A&E after a Cardiac Arrest call blush I bet I made a few people cross that night. It turned out that the medications I'd been prescribed were short-circuiting my brain, but it looked like I was suffering from a subarrachnoid heamorrhage to the doctor when I suddenly lost consciousness.

A hour or two later, after some lovely IV aspirin and various meds, I was saying that I could go home. The A&E nurse was a bit hmm and said 'you have been quite, quite poorly you know...'

It's funny how the more ill someone is, the less they seem to realise it.

zzzzz Fri 27-Dec-13 21:13:45

Trust me you really don't want to be the one rushed through with no wait. sad

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 21:16:38

It doesn't give you priority. I've only been once for an injury to me taken in an ambulance as I was on my own and couldn't drive. It wasn't actually serious and I had to wait until more serious case had been dealt with.

BitOfFunWithSanta Fri 27-Dec-13 21:22:52

This blog from a paramedic is superb insight into the workings of the emergency services- I read the whole thing in one sitting after seeing it linked on here recently.

Sneezecakesmum Fri 27-Dec-13 21:27:14

I used to work in A&E and patients were triaged on arrival and prioritised according to need not whether they came in an ambulance.

Dislocated shoulders were prioritised as a category 2 which is to be seen within 10 minutes. Obviously you can't organise X-rays that quickly but pain relief like gas and air should be given. Shoulder dislocation can cause permanent damage to the nerve supply.

Equally a broken ankle can cause permanent damage and loss of blood supply to the foot. Neither is a minor injury in all cases but must be properly assessed.

elfsmamma Fri 27-Dec-13 21:42:56

They gave him some pain relief but it wasn't really helping.

He was suggesting trying to put it back himself ( he hasdone this before) which is when they decided to see him.

nocheeseinhouse Fri 27-Dec-13 21:47:03

It doesn't give you priority, as others have said. You're triaged on need. And it works surprisingly well. Sorry your DP was left in pain, though, painkillers should be given at triage, too, did you ask for some?

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 27-Dec-13 21:53:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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