"Management of spinal pain after road accident"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance Victoria Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Ambulance arrived at scene. Driver of car (myself) complaining of high pain score due to pain down my spine from middle to lower back. Paramedics assessed my neck movement which was okay (no pain here). My spinal pain seemed to be ignored and I was made to get out of my car and walk across to the ambulance- up the steps of the ambulance and sit on the chair whilst my observations were recorded.

Due to my further complaints of back pain I was eventually assisted onto the stretcher-bed in the ambulance. I was offered no pain relief.

On arrival to A&E I was rushed straight through to Resus where I was made aware that I had 4 wedge fractures to my thoracic spine. I was then immobilised and log rolled for 6 days during my hospital admission before fitted with a back brace. During this time I was also on monitoring for paralysis.

I am disappointed that my spinal pain was not of high concern to the ambulance team as I am very lucky I am not paralysed.

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Response from Martin Esposito, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement Department, Scottish Ambulance Service

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Dear RPZander

Thank you for sharing your experience. Firstly, I just wanted to say that I am truly sorry that we did not detect signs of your spinal injury and treat you accordingly. I would like to reassure you that all of our operational paramedics and technicians receive comprehensive training on identifying and treating potential spinal injuries. This includes taking account of the mechanism of injury (how the accident happened and the forces involved) as well as history taking and physical examination.

It is really disappointing and concerning to hear that this may not have happened for you. I would really like to find out more about this so that I can review the care we did provide to you, find out why you were not immobilised and most importantly, give you an explanation. It would also give me the opportunity to feed back your experience to the ambulance crew who did treat you.

Can I ask you to contact me at martinesposito@nhs.net or on 0131 314 003.

Thank you again for sharing your story and I do hope that you are recovering well.

Take care


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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

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Dear RP Zander

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent incident, this must have been very frightening!. I was sorry to hear about your experience with the ambulance service,they will respond directly to you I am sure.

I was pleased to hear that your injuries were determined quickly in the A/E Department and do hope that you are now on the road to recovery.

I will make sure we share your post with the A/E staff.

Kind Regards

Louise Ewing

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Update posted by RPZander (the patient)

Thank you Louise, I cannot thank/praise the A&E Resus staff enough. I would very much like to thank ward 33 for faultless care and attention also. I have Zero complaints/concerns about the care I received in the Victoria Hospital.

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

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Thanks RP Zander

I will make sure I do that



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