"Inadequate pain relief during colonospy"

About: Southmead Hospital

I attended the Endoscopy unit on 30.1.16 for a colonoscopy.

The health care assistant gave me a detailed overview of the entire procedure and said I would be offered gas and air on top of the drugs delivered intravenously if I needed it. I said I would willingly take all the pain releif I was offered. I ticked the box for sedation and signed the consent form.

My complaint is that I was in excrustiong pain, loudly moaning during the entire colonoscopy.

I used the gas and air yet unfortunatly this made no impact on my pain level and profund distress. I was not given adequate pain relief as promised In the North Bristol NHS leaflet p.6 where it states ' There are some bends that naturally occur in the bowel and negiotiating these may be uncomfortable for a short period of time but the sedation and analgesia wil minimise any discomfort.'

I believe I should have been given additional pain relief when the doctor could see how severe and enduring my pain was. I feel the lack of care to give me adequate pain relief was unacceptable.

Following the procedure and a period of recovery on the bed, while sitting I felt very unwell. A nurse noticed how pale I had suddenly become and took my blood pressure which was very low. I vomited twice. I was returned to a bed where my oxygen saturation dropped to a level that set the alarm off. A nurse returned to help me and I recovered. I believe I suffered a vasovagal syncope following the shock and trauma of the unberably painful colonoscopy.

I thought the nursing care was exemplary. Yet I am very angry and profoundly upset that I was not given adequate pain relief by the doctor during my colonoscopy.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for taking the time to post details of your experience of your colonoscopy. I regret that you found the experience so painful. Every patient’s physiology is different and I understand that the very experienced staff are trained to monitor a patients pain (they use a scoring system and converse with the patient to provide reassurance and monitor their discomfort) and the procedure will always be stopped if a patient requests this.

I regret that you did not understand this was an option.

I apologise that you felt the colonoscopy was undertaken without adequate pain relief, and that you felt you fainted in recovery as a result, as this would never be our intention and I know the clinicians would be happy to discuss alternative options should you require another similar procedure.

Thank you for your kind comments about the nursing care you received.

Kind Regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team

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