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WTF do I do now? 111 haven't called me back and the allegedly dispatched ambulance (that I didn't ask for) hasn't arrived anyway!

(49 Posts)
colditz Thu 11-Apr-19 00:47:18

Ds2 has asthma and is having a flare up. He's 12.

He had a 15% dip in peak flow and painful breathing at 9pm. Gave 8 puffs on ventalin, rang 111 for advice.

Spend 20 minutes on the phone to a call handler, to be informed that a 'clinician' would call me back, within 30 minutes, unless they decided to dispatch an ambulance, which would arrive within 2 hours.

Nobody called.

Nobody arrived.

So at 11.20 I rang them back, to be told an ambulance had been dispatched and that I needed to now ring 999 for advice, as they weren't able to deal with my call.

Rang 999.

(Ds2 stable, ill but stable. Peak flow of 300.)

Was told that they were very busy with life threatening cases (understandable) and as he is breathing and conscious, a 'clinician' will ring back within an hour, but to "watch him very closely"

It's now 12.45.

Nobody has rung

Nobody has arrived

I'm scared. If I can't keep his asthma under control I don't actually know what to do? Ring 999 again and scream? he's stable but he needs to be seen by a bloody doctor. I'd take him to A and E myself but if he has an asthma attack on the way, we'd then be at the roadside with an ambulance service that's too busy to come and find us. For the first time in my life, I am properly panicking that nobody is actually going to help us, and that we're going to be statistic.

I'm not ususally over dramatic, I'm so tired and worried.

Gingernaut Thu 11-Apr-19 00:49:05

Is there an out of hours GP service?

Can it be accessed via your local hospital?

Amibeingnaive Thu 11-Apr-19 00:50:40

I would ring again.

My DS has asthma. I have never waited more than 10 mins for an ambulance. Now, I'm in London so nothing is that far, but this is serious and you shouldn't be left waiting.

I think in your situation I would drive to A&E - how far is it in terms of time?

AlunWynsKnee Thu 11-Apr-19 00:51:35

Scary stuff sad
Can you ring them back and ask whether you setting off is a good idea? If you know your route and have them alerted would that be better than staying put?
Really hope it all works out OK for your ds.

ABC1234DEF Thu 11-Apr-19 00:52:21

He's been stable for almost 4 hours. Drive him to A&E. If anything happens en route (unlikely seeing as it hasn't got worse in the time you've been waiting), ring 999, they'll find you, just like the find people who have accidents on farms and in woodland and crash cars in the middle of nowhere.

Don't forget to cancel the ambulance either.

AnnieOH1 Thu 11-Apr-19 00:56:42

Which ambulance service? How far are you from nearest hospital?

Call 999 again.

You've got this. I would also ring 111 and speak with a supervisor explaining all you've explained here. You will both be okay.

Shadycorner Thu 11-Apr-19 01:04:07

Sorry your ds is ill Colditz . On balance, I think I would drive. Depends how far it is though I guess. Or get a cab so you are hands free to phone or help your son with his inhalers should he deteriorate. Awful for you to go through this worry flowers

colditz Thu 11-Apr-19 01:04:24

I just called 999 again.

I'm not driving him to A and E. Asthma is one of those things made worse by stress and temperature changes, and A and e is 20 miles away. Then if we arrive safely, we will have a 6 to 8 hour wait (normal in LRI) unless he crashes.

They are sending an ambulance still, they think he needs one, just not as urgently as people actively dying. Thanks for listening.

Shadycorner Thu 11-Apr-19 01:07:57

In that case I hope it arrives quickly and no long wait at other end. Hope your ds recovers very soon.

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:08:03

This happened me and by the time they came, I was almost dead.

Ring 999 and say that he's really not well, you can't give him anymore ventolin, and you think his life is at risk.

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:09:39

How is he?
Keep dosing him with ventolin if he can take it.
Not medically trained, but it will keep him alive until emergency services get there.

TheMaddHugger Thu 11-Apr-19 01:10:51

((((((((Big Hugs)))))))))🌻

Asthma is No Joke

AlunWynsKnee Thu 11-Apr-19 01:13:04

That's grim then. Hang on and keep calling as the situation changes. Hopefully you won't need the highest category.
It's a shit situation to be in.

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:13:39

Don't keep testing his peak flow, it will be exhausting him. Try to get as much Ventolin into him as you can. If you can have him lying, but propped up at a 45 degree angle, it might help. Try to not get him to move. Have a fresh breeze blowing in (open window). Turn off heat.

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:16:34

And this is probably an obvious one, but are you sure there is something in the inhaler? If you shake it does it feel like there's something in there?

SleepWarrior Thu 11-Apr-19 01:18:03

Keep relaxed and happy with no laughing, as best you can. Watching TV maybe - it's a good distraction for him as you can easily make yourself worse (unintentionally) by panicking in the midst of an attack.

Hope it comes soon.

JohnHunter Thu 11-Apr-19 01:19:58

Unless you are a long way from a hospital then drive to A&E. Have him keep using his salbutamol on the way. If he is getting worse then you are safer en route to hospital than at home. Just make sure that you have a working/charged phone with you. Poor show from the ambulance service tonight. Go!

Butterflycookie Thu 11-Apr-19 01:24:50

As a 111 health advisor, I’ve not heard of anyone being told that if a clinician doesn’t call back in 30 mins they’d send an ambulance? Usually the clinician will go through the assessment and if necessary they’d send an ambulance. ( although every call centre is different)

It’s good that you’ve called for an ambulance. Clinician (paramedic/nurse) can’t do much anyway. They can put you through to out of hours gp, tell you to go to a&e etc. But if he needs to be seen and you can’t take him to hospital then ambulance is appropriate. Once 111 has dispatched the ambulance the case is referred to 999 anyway. So any concerns just call 999 to update them

ScarlettSahara Thu 11-Apr-19 01:28:37

How are you and your son Colditz? Do you also havea spacer device in case your son gets tired?

colditz Thu 11-Apr-19 01:30:55

To clarify, I have spoken to the abulance service since I posted this thread, and they've advised to stay put and wait for the ambulance

colditz Thu 11-Apr-19 01:32:00

His breathing is quiet and calm, and he's nodding off, so I'm not going to keep checking his peak flow. He's so tired. I'm watching him though

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:33:56

Don't mind idiots telling you to put your child into a car and drive 20 miles. Take the paramedics advice (which I know you're doing).

Keep him relaxed, minimal movement, and inhalers whenever he needs it. He might not be able to inhale much. So I hope the ambulance gets there soon.

ScarlettSahara Thu 11-Apr-19 01:34:37

If no spacer, you can make one by cutting a hole in an empty plastic bottle so that you can insert inhaler at one end and using bottle neck to breathe through. Hopefully it won’t come to that , just keep things nice & calm with tv etc for distraction as pp suggested.
Do let us know how things are when you can flowers

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:35:53

That his breathing is calm is not an indicator of good things - believe me!!

Apoiads Thu 11-Apr-19 01:37:46

Can you take his pulse? If his pulse is racing, you really need to ring 999 again and get the ambulance prioritised.

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