"Excellent new 'ambulatory care unit'"

About: Kettering General Hospital

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I suffered a sharp pain in my calf which took my breath away whilst watering the garden on Monday evening and the severe pain lasted for half hour. Over next few days my calf was very painful on walking more than 50yards, I also noticed I was becoming increasingly short of breath when going up the stairs. I arranged an appointment with the GP on Friday and they sent me the same day for a chest xray at KGH and said they would try to get the results early the following week. Over the weekend my breathlessness worsened and on Monday my GP telephoned me to see how I was and said they were coming round to see me at home an hour later. They visited and said I needed to go to A&E for assessment of possible DVT. I was met within a few minutes of my arrival by a nurse who took all my history and various checks then had a ECG (normal) and some blood tests to rule out a clot. The test came back an hour or so later 'positive' that I most probably had a clot somewhere, possibly my leg, so the A&E consultant said I would be taken to the Ambulatory Care Unit for further investigation and assessment. I was taken by a nurse up to the Unit on the first floor of KGH and was firstly seen by a nurse practitioner who went through my history and said she would speak to the consultant and they would order a CT Scan of my chest firstly and if negative would do some Ultrasound tests on my leg. They decided to give me an injection of Heparin and send me home to return the following morning for a canula to be put in on the ACU and then to have the CT scan and they would contact me later that evening or early morning to give me the CT scan appointment time so I would only need to come in half hour before. The next morning they telephoned around 9.15 to say please be here for 10.45 at the AC Unit where they put in the canula. I went down th CT Scan and returned about an hour later to await my results. The waiting area in ACU is really bright but quiet and the assistants brought round tea, coffee and sandwiches! It was spotlessly clean and run very efficiently by experienced nurses and doctors. I waited about an hour and a half when my results came back and the consultant took us in a side room to explain that I had indeed had blood clots in both my lungs, a bilateral pulmonary embolism, and I would need to be put on Warfarin for about 6 months and have a few further investigations to try to find the cause. She explained everything about my diagnosis and asked me if I had any questions and was very caring and listened and reassured me about my prognosis. They made my follow-up appointments, provided my medication and gave me an informative discharge letter. I went home feeling much better because I understood everything and was pleased I could return home and not have to stay in hospital overnight. I want to thank KGH for having such a wonderful new Unit that looked after me so well and made the care process from GP to A&E to ACU seamless, efficient and effective.

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