"D + V in Blackburn, getting worse"

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital / General surgery Royal Blackburn Hospital / Paediatrics

(as a relative),

My son was suffering with vomiting and diarrhoea and also had stomach pains. I was advised to take him to the local GP out of hours service. The doctor we saw thought it could be gastroenteritis and gave my son some buscopan tablets, but he also said that it could be appendicitis and that if it hadn't cleared up in 24 hours to take him back to the unit.

By the next evening he was much worse and his vomit had turned brown. I was advised by the NHS Direct helpline to take my son straight to A&E. He had been vomiting for 2 days and had abdominal pains. He was also finding it very difficult to walk because of the pain.

We arrived at A&E at around 20:45pm but were then told it was not an emergency and were directed to the urgent care centre. Here we gave in his details and i informed them it could be appendicitis. By this time his skin and eyes had a yellow tinge to them.

After 1 hour he had still not been assessed and as I was very worried I went to the reception to complain. We waited for another 20 minutes and he saw a triage nurse and I showed her a sample of the foul smelling brown vomit that I had brought from home, it was probably the lining of his stomach. We were then told to go back and wait in the waiting area.

When we finally saw the doctor after around 2 1/4 hours we were told they wanted a urine sample. My son could not give one - as he couldn't keep anything down, he was dehydrated. The doctor gave him a drink of water and said that if he couldn't give a sample within 1/2 hour he would be happy for us to go home and take a sample to our GP when we could get one. My son sipped some of the water and vomited it straight back up. The doctor then decided they would admit him as it looked like he had gastroenterits and he put him on a rehydration drip and took blood.

It was now midnight. He was seen by another two doctors who both diagnosed gastroenteritis. Finally at 03:00am he was taken to the children's ward where thankfully a nurse saw my son vomit and said it was faecal vomit and she would get a doctor to see him immediately. He was seen by a surgeon who said he had jaundice and they would operate on him as it was most likely appendicitis.

When they operated on him they found he had a perforated appendix and his pelvis was full of pus and he was kept in hospital for 6 days. If the nurse hadn't seen my son vomit, I wonder if the outcome could have been much worse?

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