"Making a call for emergency assistance at home, early morning"
About: NHS 24 NHS 24
Posted by Distressed First Aider (as ),
I had to call NHS 24 for emergency treatment and was left flabbergasted, exasperated and very worried by their response.
Having got up 07: 30 start preparing for work, I accidentally caught my ankle and as a consequence burst open a small vein/artery in my left ankle. Blood began to spurt everywhere so as a qualified first aider I tried to no avail to control the bleeding. I then called my daughter who did not answer and then straight away phoned NHS 24 and pressed 1 for an emergency, as I knew if I couldn't control the bleeding and I lost too much blood I could go into shock and in theory even die. I also explained to the girl on the phone that I was a 54yr old type 2 Diabetic with Lymphedema.
Whilst I was answered by a very polite call centre operator, her advice on having consulted the on duty nurse was to get myself to A&E. How? I replied when I'm here on my own and was unable to get myself back upstairs to dress myself, let alone drive a car with blood pouring out my leg. Just throw a bathrobe round me and get a taxi I was told, A&E wouldn't mind. Unbelievable, what taxi would take someone who was liable to cover their back seat in blood, let alone the indignity of turning up in such attire.
I hung up and tried my daughter's number once more, thankfully she answered and drove over to me within 15mins. As a qualified first aider also, she was able to bandage the ankle to apply pressure (however it took 2 bandages), helped me to dress and drove me straight down to our local A&E where I was treated with great efficiency and courtesy and even given a cup of tea and a sandwich.
I know NHS 24 is an advisory service, but I had pressed the option for emergency help, as I am cautious by nature and don't like to trouble other people unnecessary, but feel now I might have been better just calling 999 as without my daughter's help I could have died.