"Visit to casualty following a fall"

About: Southampton General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Following my fathers funeral and wake in mid June (funeral 4. 50pm, and wake 5. 30pm ), I was dropped at the end of my drive by a cab with my husband and son. Walking into my drive, I don't recall falling but fell over and recall smashing my face.

Having recently had non cosmetic rhinoplasty, the emergency paramedic in the car advised she felt it prudent I go to casualty. She said I probably required stitches to top of my lip and top of my nose, along with facial xray as my cheek was now swollen, as well as bleeding/cut. This all took place around 11 pm.

I arrived at Casualty 12:20 pm. The emergency nurse assessed me and moved me to the casualty in patient side (not the ambulance / emergency side). 4 hours later, my husband pursued what was taking so long as I was in great pain as well as bleeding.

A sister/nurse came out of triage and said "take this." I asked what it was and she said codydramol. I asked if it was ok to take if asthmatic and she said "do you want it or not?" I took the medication at this point she also sent me for an Xray. The Xray department was empty.

Around 6 am, my husband again asked if we would have to wait further as I was nauseous and being sick. Again we were told we would be seen as soon as we could. In spite of this, other people were being seen and taken through to the injuries area in advance of us.

At 8:10 am on Saturday I was taken through to 'minor injuries'. The doctor I met appeared disinterested in my story and injuries despite my hugely swollen face with blood clots which had dried due to the time I had waited. I had to tell him I had already had an xray. He came back to say there was no more they could do but clean me up up as there appeared to be no fractures.

The sister on ward started to try and wipe my face clean. As the grit from the road was now embedded in my face, this was a very painful experience. It incorporated the sister using a needle to dig out the grit. My top lip was glued and I was sent on my way.

Now nearly 2 weeks on, I am still struggling with the pain of the injury on my top lip, the top of my nose, top of my head and cheek. I have fluid coming out of my left nostril and pressure building in the septum area of my nose. Generally I feel I have a high temperature along with this pain. So much so I am visiting my tomorrow for a second opinion following the seemingly horrendous care I received.

I feel that as I had taken a few drinks in memory of my father I was 'labelled' a drunk. This was in spite of the fact I had never previously frequented casualty for this type of injury in the past. This was a very difficult evening for me having been in casualty 4 weeks prior with my elderly father who had had a fall. He never recovered from this fall.

I believe the care I received was appalling.

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

We were very sorry to read of your disappointing experience in our Emergency Department in June, particularly as this occurred so soon after your father's funeral. We were particularly sorry that you felt you had been 'labelled' because of how your injury occurred. If you would like to discuss your experience with us please do make contact with the Patient Support Services on 023 8079 6325 or e-mail patientsupportservices@uhs.nhs.uk We trust that you are now well and have fully recovered from the injuries you sustained when you fell.

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