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To wonder if this is part of the reason a&e is massively overstretched.

(69 Posts)
flanjabelle Mon 21-Mar-16 07:37:42

I have been sent to a&e twice for myself and twice for dd in the last couple of months. Each time I have contacted a gp or 111 (asking for an out of hours gp appointment) first, and then been sent to a&e. Each time I have left a&e feeling that it was completely unnecessary to go to a&e and that we had wasted their time and resources.

For example, Friday I had a severe head ache come on. It was worse Saturday morning, Saturday evening I was exhausted and slurring my words slightly, yesterday morning it was excruciating so I called 111 to see if I could see a doctor as I don't usually suffer with migraines and I couldn't stop the pain with normal painkillers.

111 wanted to call me an ambulance, but I refused. I asked for a doctors appointment and was told that I couldn't have one and that I had to report to a&e within the hour to be seen.

I obviously did, as I needed help from someone. I spent most of the day in a&e, ended up having a ct scan, blood tests and painkillers and was moved to an assessment ward.

I was on the assessment ward for two hours before seeing the doctors who told me it was just a severe migraine and there was really no need for me to be there at all. I was sent away with aspirin and triptans and made to feel very silly. I never wantEd to go to a&e!

The last time I was sent to a&e was because the gp decided I had appendicitis even though the pain was no where near the appendix and was following on from food poisoning. I had gastritis. Again, it could have easily been dealt with by the gp, but I got sent to a&e.

I hate feeling like I'm wasting their time, there may well have been people who desperately needed their help and were delayed because of me. I have followed the steps that you are supposed to each time, but end up being an a&e time waster. I have more examples, but this is long enough, sorry!

lastqueenofscotland Mon 21-Mar-16 07:40:09

I'm not sure I'd bother with a&he for appendicitis, but if I head a headache so bad I was slurring words id probably go.

IceMaiden73 Mon 21-Mar-16 07:42:27

lastqueenofscotland - why wouldn't you go with appendicitis?

MoonriseKingdom Mon 21-Mar-16 07:43:18

I would completely disagree over the first episode. You had severe headache and slurred words. This can be a sign of a brain haemorrhage which may need urgent specialist treatment. The A&E doctors sent you home after a CT scan - bet they wouldn't have been quick to send you home without this. If you had seen a GP with those symptoms they would have very likely sent you to hospital quite possibly in an ambulance.

flanjabelle Mon 21-Mar-16 07:43:58

Now I disagree with the appendicitis one, if I had thought I actually had appendicitis, then I think I would have agreed that I needed to go. If it bursts you can be in big trouble. But I clearly didn't, the pain was not bad enough and was in my stomach region, nowhere near the appendix!

curren Mon 21-Mar-16 07:44:57

The slurring of the words was A&E because it's a sign of a stroke. Can you imagine if it was stroke and they made you a doctors appointment?

That's why you had a scan. The doctors were right, it was a migraine. But someone authorities you a scan. So someone at the hospital thought it needed checking.

Again pain for appendicitis can be in other places. The doctor probably sent you because they are worrying about being sued, if they are wrong.

Tbh if do agree in general. Dd fell over at school (secondary) I was called and told she needed to go to hospital. I got to school and while it was a bad cut I question wether it really needed hospital treatment and was told it did, in the nurses opinion, as someone said her knee twisted as she went down. Dd said she was fine. I felt like a twat in A&E. With a 12 year old with a cut knee.

The doctor wasn't impressed either. He asked why I had gone and I told him why and told him the name of the school. He understood why I took her, but was taking it up with the school.

ditavonteesed Mon 21-Mar-16 07:45:24

The headache definitely required an a&e visit. No time wasting there.

Muskateersmummy Mon 21-Mar-16 07:46:00

Theyhave to be sure though. Your headache with slurring of words could have been so much worse. Without the tests how would you know?

I fell down the stairs. Thought I had bruised it. It got steadily worse, went to hospital to be checked, still assuming it was just badly bruised. Felt like I was wasting everyone's time.... Actually I had broken my spine in 2 places and damaged the ligaments further down my back too....

I agree sometimes they are over cautious but the issues with a and e are more due to people taking themselves there without trying ooh, minor injuries or the gp first for a cough they have had for weeks, or a tooth ache etc.

flanjabelle Mon 21-Mar-16 07:46:57

The doctors on the assessment ward told me that 'it is just a migraine' and that I didn't need to be at the hospital for 'a headache'. It made me feel very silly and as though I shouldn't be there at all. I felt awful for wasting their time.

AlleyCatandRastaMouse Mon 21-Mar-16 07:47:40

No I think in both instances hospital was the place for you. GPs do not have X ray vision or magic fingers which can detect infection. The are limited to, albeit usually excellent, physical diagnostic skills and rudamentory chemical test kits. When they are not conclusive they move you up the food chain for a more conclusive diagnosis. Your head ache with slurred speech could have been many things and appendicitis can be dangerous.

Toffeelatteplease Mon 21-Mar-16 07:49:10

Both of those seem entirely reasonable and correct you were in a&e.

Hindsight. Sometimes it us easy to think, knowing the outcome was ok, that A&E was an over reaction. However noone knew the outcome at the start and to assume it would all turn out ok would have been to risk missing something dangerous

trollopolis Mon 21-Mar-16 07:49:33

With the slurring of the words, you could have been having a stroke, and urgent assessment is required (as rapid treatment makes an enormous difference to how much of the person 'remains' IYSWIM).

It's not a symptom to ignore. There are even TV campaigns about getting it better recognised.

PurpleDaisies Mon 21-Mar-16 07:51:05

Both of those episodes had life threatening consequences if the worst case scenarios (stroke or appendicitis) weren't ruled out. The issue is with the doctor at a and e who said you shouldn't have been there. 111 and your GP acted entirely appropriately.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 21-Mar-16 07:51:31

I think they were right to send you both times.

I was sent by the gp to A and E last year with chest pain (over 40 and my father had his first heart attack at 37). It really hurt, has been hurting all day. Quick ecg type monitoring at A and E and she said I'd pulled a chest muscle.

It's the possibility of what it could be. Slurring words could have been a stroke or a haemorrhage

trollopolis Mon 21-Mar-16 07:52:33

The doctors only told you that you didn't need to stay once they had established that you did not have a more serious condition.

They did not say you should not have come in for investigation.

You weren't time wasting, and I think you got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

As you're posting, i assume the migraine has settled. Have you made a GP appointment to see what future treatment options are going to be best for you?

shinynewusername Mon 21-Mar-16 07:54:31

I'm glad you are such an expert on appendicitis that you can rule it out without tests. Could you come and work at our Practice please? wink

Appendicitis can present in all sorts of atypical ways. Your GP was absolutely right to send you to hospital - this could have saved your life if you had been developing peritonitis.

A little learning really is a dangerous thing.

Piemernator Mon 21-Mar-16 07:55:52

Even though 111 can err on the side of caution I think they were right to send you in.

I did see a Doctor being interviewed in an A&E dept on tv and she was bemoaning the amount of self inflicted illness people did to themselves due to alcohol. Not just ruffians fighting in the street stuff like you see on the TV either. People getting pissed and falling down stairs kind of stuff.

I know it's anecdotal but if an A&E Doctor, nurse or administrator came on this thread I would love to know what % of cases are directly linked to alcohol. My mate was hit by a drunk driver as a pedestrian a few months ago, broken collar bone and two operations so far and extensive physio needed.

TendonQueen Mon 21-Mar-16 07:56:32

The headache sounds very scary and I would have thought stroke too. I think where you were badly handled was in A&E, to be honest. They shouldn't have made you feel like a time waster. Did you tell them you'd asked for a GP appointment but had been told you must come to hospital?

Muddlewitch Mon 21-Mar-16 07:56:35

That's awful. I had a persistant bad headache, visual issues and loss of speech a couple of years ago. Put up with it for days before I made a gp appointment as I do suffer with migraine and thought it was just a weird one and didn't want to waste anyone's time.

They sent me straight to A & E, it was serious, a blood clot had travelled to my brain, I am still under the neuro team two years later and have permanently lost about 40% of my sight amongst other things.

Going there was absolutely the right thing to do, they should not have made you feel bad at all, especially with no history of migraine. I had a history of it and they still took me seriously and didn't assume, thank goodness. That doctor was out of order.

I know what you mean though generally, I have been advised to take the DC for things that could have been dealt with by a GP. I agree with pp, they are worried about missing things and want to pass the responsibility on, sadly understandable with so many stories of people being sued.

Pawpatroller Mon 21-Mar-16 07:56:47

As someone who was sent home recently from the ooh gp twice with a UTI (turned out to be appendicitis which ruptured, and I'm pregnant), I think I'd go to a and e every time now! OOH gp's were not only useless and dismissive, in my case their diagnosis was dangerous. A&e know what they're doing and if you've been sent there then go.

Ifailed Mon 21-Mar-16 07:57:10

I tend not to go for self-diagnosis of medical problems, prefer to take advice from people who are trained to deal with them.

I spent a lot of time last year in A&E departments with my DP, each time they were admitted as an in-patient. I observed a wide-range of symptoms in other patients, and asked a Dr if they get fed up with people 'wasting' their time. She said no, her view was most people , bar some with MH issues, attend A&E because they are genuinely concerned and she'd rather assure someone they are ok & to go home than have them worrying about something.

PurpleDaisies Mon 21-Mar-16 07:57:16

But I clearly didn't, the pain was not bad enough and was in my stomach region, nowhere near the appendix!
That's how it starts with appendicitis and only localises to where the appendix is later on.

curren Mon 21-Mar-16 07:57:58

The doctors on the assessment ward told me that 'it is just a migraine' and that I didn't need to be at the hospital for 'a headache'. It made me feel very silly and as though I shouldn't be there at all. I felt awful for wasting their time.

this sounds like a Shit doctor. They sent your for a scan, so they had reason to want to double check. Even if it was just because you ticked a certain box on a form.

They scanned you so therefore procedure or a person said you needed it.

StealthPolarBear Mon 21-Mar-16 07:58:29

Pie Google local alcohol profiles for England. It has lots of information about hospital use due to alcohol

80sMum Mon 21-Mar-16 08:00:13

Only you know just how bad and how "different" your headache was, OP. The vast majority of people wouldn't bother phoning a dr for a headache, so the fact that you phoned implied that yours was no ordinary headache. I think 111 had no option but to refer you straight to hospital.

Why did you go to the GP about the stomach pains? Could you have waited a few more days to see if it improved on its own? Again, the fact that you had approached a dr for help implied that the pain was unusual and severe and needed investigation.

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