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To take DS to A&E today

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VoldemortsNipple Sat 25-Jul-15 11:22:41

A bit of background. DS (16) has been having dizzy spells for a while now and they seem to be getting worse. He will become dizzy, his breathing becomes laboured and he gets chest pains. If I'm honest, it looks like a panic attack. However DS is naturally not a worrier and they don't seem to be brought on by anxiety. We have been going to the GP to get to the bottom of it since the beginning of the year. I cant fault the GP as she's been brilliant.

DS went for an ecg back in March, which showed a slight problem? We were told it was probably nothing and just down to DSs build. As a precaution the GP asked for a second opinion from the cardiologist. Next thing we know, DS had to have an echocardiogram. I really wasn't worried at this point, I just thought they wanted to rule things out.

When we went back for the results GP said the echo identified that DS's heart muscles were weak. She had spoken to a cardiologist who recommended an MRI scan. She also told DS to take it easy and don't take part in vigorous exercise.

So when we turned up for our appointment which we thought was for an MRI, we find out we were just there to see a Cardiologist. He asked us for a brief history and decided that he wanted to start again from the beginning as from what results he could see, he didn't think DS had a heart condition confused but did think it needed investigating. He told DS he could exercise and to carry on like normal. He sent him home with a portable heart machine on to record any symptoms. That was 4 weeks ago and we haven't heard anything back.

So for the past week DS has been at a cadet camp. The camp was for higher level cadets and was physically tough. DS took a letter with him from myself explaining that he was undergoing tests but was okay to carry on as normal. During the week, DS has had at least ten attacks, which is way more than normal. Twice the instructions took his to hospital because he was taking a long time to recover. The hospital were happy to let him return to camp as DS was determined to carry on and finish the course. On the way home yesterday, DS had another attack on the minibus and he momentarily blacked out.

He is supposed to be going on another cadet trip in a weeks time for ten days. I can't get an appointment with his GP next week and we still haven't heard from the last hospital appointment. So do you think it would be unreasonable to take him to A&E and see if we can get some answers? I'm not convinced that he doesn't have a heart condition. The Echo results obviously showed there was something going on and the NHS website says panic attack type symptoms can manifest in some heart conditions. I really need some peace of mind before sending him off to another camp.

Sorry for the long post, I didn't want to drip feed.

googoodolly Sat 25-Jul-15 11:24:32

Can you ring Out of Hours and get an appointment?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 25-Jul-15 11:26:15

I'd be at a+e in a flash, absolutely take him today and insist on being seen.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 25-Jul-15 11:27:53

The blacking out would be a huge warning sign, I wouldn't let him go on another trip that caused such symptoms.

Twinwife Sat 25-Jul-15 11:27:59

See I wouldn't go to a and e unless he is experiencing concerning symptoms now. I would ring the consultants secretary in Monday to get seen sooner by them. Or call out of hours today to get seen by a go today

FarFromAnyRoad Sat 25-Jul-15 11:28:00

Out of Hours my arse! Straight to A & E with him - you don't mess with this kind of thing. Good luck - hope he's ok!

EnlightenedOwl Sat 25-Jul-15 11:28:23

Really sorry but I don't think this is an A & E issue. Accident & Emergency and this isn't one or the other.
You need to get onto GP/the consultant you saw at the hospital

GrizzlebertGrumbledink Sat 25-Jul-15 11:29:29

It's unlikely the a&e doctors will have access to any of his results from previous investigations, they won't have any of your GP records and may or may not be able to see letters from the cardiologist. Remember the whole daily mail "doctors want to have access to your health information! Sign this petition against it" a few years ago?

If you are worried about your sons health is seriously deteriorating now and you feel it is now an emergency then yes, by all means take him to a&e. If you just want answers about what the cardiologists are thinking then they probably can't help you in afraid. They are not a replacement for your GP because you can't get an appointment that suits you.

Call the GP again, if you can't be fitted in then you need to decide whether your son goes on this second camp or stays home so you can see your GP.

bostonkremekrazy Sat 25-Jul-15 11:31:28

A&E won't necessary be very helpful - your son is under investigation - they would obviously treat him if he was having symptoms on the monitor in front of them and possibly do tests, but it is more likely that you would explain the symptoms there would be nothing much to see at the time and then say they would write to the consultant he is under say he had been into A&E but nothing much observed during the visit but mum reports few days of dizziness, shortness of breath etc which require routine investigation.

personally i would not be sending him off to another camp until this period of investigation is over - be patient with the cardiologist he is under, let the investigation run in order and see what happens.

it is tempting to try to speed things up by going to A&E but unless he is acutely unwell and they can see that on the monitors in front of them, you are not likely to achieve much.

MadisonMontgomery Sat 25-Jul-15 11:31:42

I would be on to the consultants secretary on Monday. And in the meantime I wouldn't be letting him do anything strenuous - the upcoming trip would be out of the question too. But it doesn't sound like he is suffering with any symptoms right now, so A&E probably wouldn't be able to help.

Overhereinthecorner Sat 25-Jul-15 11:31:43

Sorry you are going through this and agree it sounds worrying. Is he unwell today? If so, it depends on how unwell. Out of hours GP service might be a decent option, but if he is fainting again or has chest pain/ breathlessness then yes A&E is probably reasonable. Just be aware that A&E is not set up to investigate symptoms that happened a few days ago in someone who is well now.

UrethraFranklin1 Sat 25-Jul-15 11:33:09

IT's neither an accident or an emergency, its an ongoing issue. If you haven't got to the bottom of it in months, what do you expect A&E to do on a busy saturday?

I don't see what you expect to happen. And I imagine the drs in A&E wil be rather bemused by you being there as well. He was taken to hospital twice by the instructors last week and sent away again, why would it be any different today.

I would have thought that the answer would be to not send him to a physically demanding course that he clearly can't handle.

Debs75 Sat 25-Jul-15 11:33:47

I would go with the first assessment and stop all strenuous activity so no more cadet camp. ECG results take months to come back as they go off to India for processing. DS had one in February and we didn't get results till June. The GP however got them in late April but decided we didn't to know what they had discovered so its worth badgering GPs for results.

Due to the amount of attacks he has had I would be bypassing his GP and ringing his consultants to at least pass on the info, they may well want him in. A&E would be better than OOH's, especially if he blackouts again

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Sat 25-Jul-15 11:34:24

IME (DD has PoTS and faints regularly) A&E can only rule out something life threatening. If he's seeing a consultant, he'll be told to chase up an appointment with them or his GP. It's really horrible not knowing though, we had about a year of back and forth to GPs/an arrogant consultant who decided what was wrong ("typical teenage girl") without seeing DD/no-one listening to either me or DD until we hit the right combination of support charity/clued up GP/best consultant.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 25-Jul-15 11:35:10

Voldermort you must be worried sick.

MissJoMarch Sat 25-Jul-15 11:36:13

I agree you won't get anywhere at A&E unless he's actually blacked out.

Make a diary of what's been happening, call GP surgery it better still visit and provide letter for GP.

Also contact hospital consultants secretary - I find this quickest way to get immediate help & seen quickly (have heart condition)

I would use you not to let him go on another trip

Kayden Sat 25-Jul-15 11:36:36

I understand how worrying this must be for you but I'm not convinced you're going to get the answers you need. As this is an on-going problem, I think you need to push the cardiologists much harder. Obviously, if he blacks out or has severe symptoms, he should be seen instantly at A&E but I don't think you're going to get to the bottom of the problem this weekend. It sounds scary though, so I feel for you.

PotteringAlong Sat 25-Jul-15 11:37:39

The clue is in the name - he's not had an accident and it isn't an emergency.

Call the cardiologist on Monday and don't send him to camp.

Sirzy Sat 25-Jul-15 11:39:25

How worrying. I would be phoning the consultants secretary first thing Monday morning. It isn't an a and e issue though unless things worsen.

I would stop any cadet camps or similar though until you have more idea what you are dealing with.

achieve15 Sat 25-Jul-15 11:39:40

why don't you ring 111?

but there is no way he should be going on another trip.

do you have an out-of-hours?

also, you say you can't get a GP appt - if you ring on Monday and say he blacked out on Friday they might fit him in?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 25-Jul-15 11:39:49

Reading the further responses I now agree that unless he blacks out / becomes breathless again a+e probably isn't going to be able to do much.

I would be on the phone to his cardiologist first thing Monday wanting some action of some sort.

holidaysarenice Sat 25-Jul-15 11:40:01

Ecgs DO NOT go to India to be read! That's complete twaddle! Hundreds of them are read in hospitals every day. It takes a few seconds.

Silvercatowner Sat 25-Jul-15 11:42:43

A&E isn't some sort of bypass system to a second/alternative opinion. Your son hasn't had an accident and it isn't an emergency (i.e. he isn't experiencing life threatening symptoms).

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 25-Jul-15 11:43:36

debs India to be processed, really?

Verbena37 Sat 25-Jul-15 11:44:47

If he is having symptoms, then yes, take him to A & E. If A & E feel that he needs to be admitted, they will admit him and further tests can be carried out.

If you don't take him, call the consultants secretary or cardio clinic team tomorrow and ask why you've heard nothing back and what's the next step.

You cannot not do something, having been told they want to investigate, when it's your child's heart at risk. The cardio team should have got back to you by now though. I wonder if they have written to your GP with the results and not copied you in?

Don't know what Debs75 means about taking months for ECG to come back and going to India?? Oh unless she means the 24 HR monitor results? DS's came back really quickly.

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