"14 attempts to get blood"

About: Kingston Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

A couple of weeks ago I become sick at home and attended my G.P. I had a heart rate of 150 and blood pressure of 168/113 so he decided I need to go to A+E because I was also suffering from chest pains. I am only 26. To be fair on arrival at A+E I thought that I would have to wait ages but was seen quite quickly. As I was quite ill I was brought straight through to majors to be assessed.

The Triage nurse who assessed me wanted to take blood but after one attempt decided that she would give up and leave the doctor try. I had an ECG in triage which showed that my heart was beating quite rapidly. Once in a cubical I was seen quite quickly by a very lovely doctor. She put me at ease and took a full medical history. She then attempted to take blood and set up I.V accesses as I was severally dehydrated. After two attempts she finally got some blood but it was too thick and she couldn’t get enough to fill one of the three bottles required. She said that she would send them off and see what would happen. I still had no IV accesses. Then she attempted to get arterial blood from both my femoral and radial arteries. She succeeded with little discomfort to me.

However at this point my treatment went down hill rapidly. I should point that I am a final year student studying a medical profession so I know what should and shouldn’t be done.

While waiting to see what would happen next a nurse wandered into my cubical. She started to tell me that a doctor would be in to assess me but there was a big wait and that as I had only been here for about 5 mins so should settle in for a wait. At this point I had been there over an hour and had several investigations and had seen the doctor several times.

They also had my name spelt wrong and even though me and my friend constantly told members of staff that it was wrong no-one changed it. This would later lead to more blood being taken and mistakes being made. When we told this nurse about the name issue, she laughed and said oh that happened earlier. We also over heard her discuss quite loudly with a colleague the size of a pregnant lady. They referred to her as the roly-poly fat one.

After a little while the nice doctor returned, but this time with another doctor. He didn’t introduce himself just went straight into doing stuff. He grabbed my arm and tried to put a cannula (line) into my arm. He then connected it to a drip. He did not flush the line out which essential. The line was not in correctly and the fluid filled my tissues. This must be one of the most painful things that could happen. I asked him to stop. He disconnected the drip but left the needle in my arm. (this is definitely the correct thing to do). He attempted to do it again at another vein. This took several attempts and eventually he set up the drip again. He didn’t explain anymore just walked out. Over the next few mins it became obvious that the drip was not working. My friend went to get someone but she couldn’t find anyone. We then pressed the bell but no one came so we turned it off.

We could then over hear people talking about me loudly saying that they were nearly over the 4 hour rule and someone had to attempt to get more blood. A nurse came in and disconnected the drip from me but instead of disposing of the bloody needle she handed to my friend who ended up covered in my blood. She then attempted 5 times to get blood from me with no success other then to cause my arms and hands to swell and bleed. It was so bad that they had to get me a bucket of hot water to soak my arms in so they could have another go. Eventually she got two bottles of blood. But then to my surprise she left one bottle behind and said that well there’s blood if they need it again. After everything I had been through to get blood I was not impressed.

About half an hour later a nurse came in and asked me was I ready. I was surprised as I didn’t know what was going on and what was wrong with me. He reply was that u can’t wait here. I then asked what I was actually waiting for and she said that the blood they were after taken was not suitable for testing and that I was being moved to a ward to wait for someone to come and take more blood. This seemed unbelievable as it took them 14 times to get the bottle of blood.

When I got to the ward no one ever mentioned blood and again. I was discharged the next day in worse condition than when I was admitted. I’m still sick but refuse to go back to Kingston hospital. I got no explanation as to what was wrong and how to fix it. I know it was a Friday but I think they could have done a bit better than just sending me home. The worst thing was the discharge letter I got. I was allowed to read it and it actually made me laugh. Not one thing on it was true or accurate. It claimed that I was tachycardic on admission but on discharge my ECG was normal (I never had a second one). it claim my blood pressure and pulse was normal (once again not checked after triage, surprising considering that was why I was there) and the last point was that there was no need for further investigation but then it said GP should investigate pain.

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