"Missed diagnosis in A & E"

About: Glasgow Royal Infirmary / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I am not writing this to complain, just to educate.

I was seen on August 16 in the A & E. I had bad pain on my left side, left central back and left abdomen. The pain was all over and seemed to move around. I also had an angry-looking rash across my left abdomen, at side, and on the left part of my back. The rash was kind of spread out so it did look more like bites than a rash. The rash was also painful.

The staff were extremely nice and took blood, urine, examined me etc. I was told that I had no sign of infection and that the CIPRO I was taking must be dealing with the infection. (I was on vacation and had some CIPRO with me in case I got a urinary tract infection so I had started taking it). I was told that the rash was likely bug bites, probably midges.

I got some codeine on my own for the pain and some insect sting/bite cream for the rash. I was in pain and discomfort the rest of my vacation and my pain didn't seem to improve. When I returned to Canada I went straight to the Emergency Dept at my local hospital and it turned out that I had shingles.

Even if I had been correctly diagnosed in Glasgow it was too late for the anti-viral shot but I might have started feeling better sooner.

So just letting you know - the young doctor I saw had maybe never seen shingles before.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Many thanks for your feedback, I have passed this on to the General Manager responsible for this service and asked that he highlights your experience to the approriate clinical staff within the unit. I appreciate that even if you had been diagnosed with shingles it was probably too late for the antiviral drugs, but it is worth highlighting in any event to see what local staff can learn from your feedback.

I was sorry to note that you continued to have some pain and I hope this didnt spoil your vacation in Scotland too much.

Once again thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide your feedback. It is greatly appreciated.


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