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Strange questions at A&E

(99 Posts)
ToothlessIsMySpiritAnimal Fri 22-Nov-19 00:56:42

I had to go to A&E tonight because I fainted (tummy bug made me feel all lightheaded) and threw myself down a full flight of stairs (by accident). I hurt my neck and shoulders and knocked myself out for a few moments.

So off I went to check my head wasn't about to come loose from my neck and a few things struck me as strange.

1. Every patient appears to now get a canular on admission. Surely this is by and large not relevant and quite costly. I remember I got one last time because I had an infection and might have needed iv antibiotics, but surely a hurt neck or broken leg doesn't warrant this at such an early stage for a walk in admission.

2. Blood tests are taken (through the canular) for seemingly every admission. Again, why?

3. I was asked lots of strange seemingly unrelated questions such as when did I have my appendix out and why, why did I have my gallbladder taken out. All appeared to the doctor to be entirely relevant to my situation despite being over 10 years ago. I'm baffled as to why.

4. When I was finally allowed to go after many hours and many tests, I was asked to provide a urine sample - this was once I was dressed and about to limp out to the car. I asked why, and the nurse didn't seem to know. She muttered something about checking for infections. I honestly couldn't think of any good reason the NHS would want to spend more money on tests than it needed to. So I politely declined the kind offer.

Now I'm sat at home with a much needed cup of tea, and getting all concerned about the last few points. Was it really relevant about my entirely routinely removed body parts? And could the urine sample be because I honestly looked a wreck with breakout spots and an air of drug whore about me?

Does anyone who works in the NHS know the answers to any of the above? I'm intrigued (and wondering if horrible skin, trackie bottoms and a jumper a la worzel gummidge really gave them enough material to warrant a drugs test test for infection when I was about to walk out the door).

Or am I overthinking it all?

cocoabasher Fri 22-Nov-19 01:03:42

1. You saw how every patient was treated?

2. They took bloody out of a cannula? For everyone? What else did they do with it?

3. Questions are normal. Particularly if they are looking for possible internal injuries

4. No idea.

Lampan Fri 22-Nov-19 01:04:57

I can’t help with most of it but I believe that some a&e departments do routine screening/blood tests for HIV etc on everyone who comes in. Perhaps your hospital is one that does this?

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 22-Nov-19 01:08:49

I've been in quite a few times, they always used to put a cannula in then stopped a few years ago, now it seems hit and miss, I always ask and when I get one, and don't need meds in it, they say it's routine confused
I always get a heart trace too, sometimes they put sticky pads on my legs, other times just upper body, again I always ask about the legs and they say they always put them on legs, except they don't.
Completely baffling, same hospital each time too, my Dd looks out for it now as she's started having to go in frequently, we have brittle asthma.
Always have bloods, never been asked for urine sample except for on the wards once a week as routine, unless they are looking for something specific.
This is the same hospital, maybe 15 times in three years.

Rosere Fri 22-Nov-19 01:09:30

1 and 2. You were a collapse with loss of consciousness. IV access and bloods sound perfectly reasonable- your baseline bloods are checked and you have a cannula incase you need IV fluids. Not everyone gets one. Some broken legs might be dislocated or open fractures, these require further medication - then they get IV access.
3. Past medical history. You come to the ED, we don't know anything about you, it's standard. If you presented with collapse post abdo pain, those questions are very routine.
4. Pee to check for infection and pregnancy (depending on your age) entirely normal in a collapse, entirely normal for abdo pain.

Think you've been over thinking. All sounds OK to me.

mrbob Fri 22-Nov-19 01:11:37

Maybe they were trying to work out if what you thought was a tummy bug was actually something more. Or if it had made you pass out because you were so dehydrated or had lost important electrolytes. Or pregnant. None of what you mention seems weird at all. Just because all you cared about was your neck doesn’t mean it isn’t important to make sure nothing else has been missed.

CharlotteFlax Fri 22-Nov-19 01:14:01

No one gets random drugs tests in A&E. Dipping your urine for infection is very standard. I can't understand why you can't understand why an emergency department doctor would ask you questions about your medical history.

I don't believe you can possibly know about every other patient being cannula'd up on arrival, however if it is the case then every patient will be needing blood tests and or intravenous medicine. It IS winter after all and there's shitloads going round plus big drive on sepsis at the moment so maybe extra caution is being exercised. OR simply every patient that was booked in at the time you were there NEEDED a cannula.

ToothlessIsMySpiritAnimal Fri 22-Nov-19 01:15:50

Cocoabasher - yes actually. I sat and scrutinised every single one from my spinal board hmm. No I base this on the fact all the triaged patients in the waiting room I saw had canulars and from speaking to friends about how strange it was after last time.

I was asking a valid question in these times of pressure on society and the NHS about needless waste and procedures. Now get back in your box.

Trewser Fri 22-Nov-19 01:17:28

Well, I'm in A and E at this very minute and I can say that dd has not had a cannula put in, or a blood test!

ToothlessIsMySpiritAnimal Fri 22-Nov-19 01:19:47

I heard the nurses talking about HIV screening and according to their conversation, they no longer routinely screen.

I totally appreciate why SOME might need a canular but I like to think that something like this might be in the minority. I personally find it an invasive procedure but I was told it was necessary. Next time I shall press the issue more I think as it certainly wasn't necessary this time. I had a mild tummy bug and I always get dizzy when this happens - not uncommon I don't think. Just unfortunately I was at the top of the stairs when it hit.

ToothlessIsMySpiritAnimal Fri 22-Nov-19 01:22:20

Charlotte - I fully expect questions, but he was asking questions that weren't relevant to my neck and shoulders and possible concussion as if they were the answer to the holy grail

cocoabasher Fri 22-Nov-19 01:25:27

yes actually. I sat and scrutinised every single one from my spinal board . No I base this on the fact all the triaged patients in the waiting room I saw had canulars

No need for the sarcasm. It's not unreasonable to ask how you know this information.

I was asking a valid question in these times of pressure on society and the NHS about needless waste and procedures.

My question wasn't unreasonable

Now get back in your box.


Christ. Are you always like this? Remember you are the one who made the thread, who asked the questions. What did you do that for if you didn't want people to answer you?

itswinetime Fri 22-Nov-19 01:25:48

You attended A&E with a tummy bug that made you so lightheaded you passed out.

Taking baseline bloods for infection and dehydration is a logical part of the investigation. As is leaving in iv access incase you need fluids for rehydration.

I don't see anyway how you can know every patient got cannulated and even if everyone you saw did have a cannula without knowing why the attended how can we say if it's strange or not?

3 its your past medical history it's always relevant wether it's a week ago or 20 years but it sounds like they were trying to rule out other causes of vomiting. You may have had a slightly over through doctor but better that than one that misses something important.

Urine infections is again a logical thing to check for with your symptoms.

I think your thinking you banged your head and that's why you went to a&e they were looking at the bigger picture which was why you passed out in the first place.

OctoberLovers Fri 22-Nov-19 01:26:01

1) Because you had a stomach bug and maybe was dehydrated so may of needed fluids

2) To see if you was dehydrated / how bad the infection was

3) To see how well you remembered things, how clear your memory and understanding was

4) To check for infection / pregnancy / signs of dehydration

managedmis Fri 22-Nov-19 01:26:32

You OK, trewser? Your DD OK?

Bluelightdistrict Fri 22-Nov-19 01:27:07

Yes I agree Re cannulas and blood tests. They do them far too frequently, routinely.
Like when you are admitted andx they do constant observations around the clock, again not necessary in all circumstances.

Interestedwoman Fri 22-Nov-19 01:27:16

It is routine. The urine thing should probably have been done earlier, but they were rushed with other stuff and didn't get round to it. By the time you were leaving it obviously couldn't really have been acted on when the results came back, as you wouldn't be there, but it was 'in the book' or whatever as something that had to be done, so they did it.

IHaveBrilloHair Fri 22-Nov-19 01:27:22

I wasn't even talking about other patients, just different ways of doing things on different admissions to the same A&E, often weeks, if that, apart.
Dd and I had 8 admissions in around 6 months between us, never the same twice, told it was routine/standard every time.

cocoabasher Fri 22-Nov-19 01:27:28

Not sure I'm buying a waiting room full of people with cannula's in though. Sorry and all that.

ToothlessIsMySpiritAnimal Fri 22-Nov-19 01:31:21

Sorry all, I clearly came across as being snidey when actually I was just interested. Had to double check I hadn't posted in AIBU. Nope, definitely chat.

I have had a truly shit couple of days and I am incredibly tired and run down. Clearly my genuine questions have been received the wrong way, and I'm stepping away.

I'm just saying what I saw. Believe me or don't, I'm over it.

ffswhatnext Fri 22-Nov-19 01:32:44

1. They haven't got xray specs so don't know what the patient may or may not need.

2. Blood tests - erm so they can check for Iron levels, infections and loads of other things. Patient fainting could mean low iron.

3. Again, no x-ray specs. They need to know medical history in case of surgery amongst other things.

4. Pregnancy and infections plus other stuff.

Nothing about being a drug whore ffs.

Tummy bugs and dizziness don't always go together. I do at the start of a kidney infection. But you didn't want to piss in a pot and think blood tests are useless. You also think that cannulas are useless for all, so silly nhs trying to establish what is going on.

VenusTiger Fri 22-Nov-19 01:34:07

Urine test for pregnancy in case you need X-ray

ToothlessIsMySpiritAnimal Fri 22-Nov-19 01:34:21

Ffswhatnext when did I say I thought blood tests were useless?? hmm--
Also I would have pissed in the bloody pot had they given it to me before they'd discharged me.

ffswhatnext Fri 22-Nov-19 01:36:03

Cocobasher neither am I.

Doesn't the a&e have cubicles?
Ours does and have curtains. I would have walked away if everyone was able to sit around and see what everyone else is doing.
What about privacy? Not there's much privacy with a curtain, but better than nothing.
I don't want to see things going up peoples arse and pussy during a medical examination.

ffswhatnext Fri 22-Nov-19 01:36:54

If you didn't think they were useless you wouldn't be questioning the reasoning.

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