"Early asthma attack symptoms ignored led to severe..."
About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) Exeter EX2 5DW http://www.rdehospital.nhs.uk/
Posted by Liz Edwards
Having struggled to breathe with chest ache, a thick cold, blood sugars rising and peak flow dropping...I attended the Walk In Centre early one morning (7am) on Saturday 22nd November and saw 2 Drs at the same time, who had recently strolled in with their coffee cups having a chuckle in reception at 9am. I was feeling very poorly and had been sitting waiting a long time due to a reception error with my paperwork (she was understaffed) A nurse noticed I was still there and came to my aid. I was feeling very poorly and teary and following the kind nurse sorting the error, I was finally was called in to see the 2 doctors. The lady Doctor listened to my chest and said she couldn't hear wheezing. I explained it was only wheezing at night and I have had 5 chest infections in the last 12 months and recently a few weeks before. They knew I was asthmatic and I said I'd had a my first mild attack the previous May and explained my peak flow was dropping quickly. I also explained my blood sugars had risen and that I felt like another infection was rapidly settling in. I was very tired and teary discussing this and they didn't check my sugar levels nor peak flow and told me to go home and rest (told then I had been for several days) and to take Ibuprofen (despite it being known as bad for asthmatics) I also told them I was a registered carer and didn't want to get too poorly to be able to help at home. I went home feeling bewildered and upset as had been made to feel I was wasting their time. Within 24 hours my asthma has become very serious and I returned to the Doctors On call (in same department) after phoning first as scared I would be wasting precious energy going to the Walk In. Luckily, the Doctor there was more focused (not sitting back with arms and legs folded like the man yesterday) , had better listening skills and put me straight onto a nebuliser and onto steroids. Since then I have needed to be signed off work for 10 weeks and referred to a Respiratory Consultant at the same hospital who was excellent. (And surprised at the ineffective actions, or lack of on my first attendance 2 months before. This attack could clearly have been avoided if they had done simple and free tests - A peak flow reading takes less than 1 minute. A blood sugar test the same. I have been too poorly to follow this up with the PALS who in my experience are fairly useless in such situations as upon my return on Sunday 23rd Nov I was told the paper records from my visit the day before weren't there and they'd had a computer problem. Not got the energy to waste my time so having written a very truthful and positive review for my amazing team of GP's and their practice team, I have decided to write this too. A fair balance I feel. Feel free to check that review about the Southernhay House Surgery. A place where all the staff listen.