"Good service, helped me out with burst eardrum"

About: Bristol Royal Infirmary

Had an evening of throat and ear pain, took paracetamol but it didn't help much. At about 2.00 AM on Christmas eve, I woke up with blood on my pillow and leaking out of my ear, pain was intense. If I had a choice, I would have gone to an out of hours GP, but none available and the pain was very bad, so had to go to A&E, despite the fact that I know it costs several times more than a GP appointment would have. On arrival my details were taken efficiently, and I settled down to wait. It was about a two hour wait. I was assessed quickly, told what was happening and what was wrong. As I suspected, throat infection had moved up to my ear, and the pressure had ruptured my eardrum. I was given some fairly large antibiotics to take, and also some Tramadol for the pain, as Paracetamol/Ibuprofen wasn't touching it. The only comment I would make that isn't positive is the fact that I had never taken Tramadol before, and was not informed of some of the side effects. I took the one that I was given in A&E, and by the time all the paperwork was finished and I could go home, it had definitely kicked in. Perhaps it's because the staff are so used to seeing drunk people, but I think I should have been warned not to drive home. Fortunately it was about 5.30 am when I left, so the roads were empty, but when I got home I realised that it wasn't such a great idea. I then slept for 12 hours! Overall, a great service. I feel bad that it probably cost hundreds of pounds to treat my ear infection at an A&E unit, but that's a consequence of the scrapping of GP out of hours facilities.

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Response from Bristol Royal Infirmary

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