"A&E ignored the ambulance report and lost my ECG"
About: South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Lewes BN7 2XW William Harvey Hospital / Accident and emergency William Harvey Hospital Accident and emergency Ashford TN24 0LZ
Posted by Gummage (as ),
Very rarely, I get an attack of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
This last time I called 999, and the crew from SECAM (South East Coast Ambulance Service) listened intently to my story. They took two tracings of my heart in the ambulance outside my door: the first showed clearly an episode of AF sandwiched between two periods of normal heart rhythm; and a 12 lead ECG. These were printed out on a single sheet of paper.
This, together with the written report were handed over to A&E - but have mysteriously gone missing. By then, my AF had ended, and so the tracings done in the hospital showed nothing but normal rythym. Thus, I then spent the next 36 hours arguing with the doctors, because the notes said that I had been admitted with 'chest pains', and made no mention of the AF.
I complained to PALS - both at William Harvery Hospital and SECAM. The episode was in May, and I reported it 5 days later. SECAM responded the day after, but WHH has not yet done so.
I have two complaints: firstly, why were the written notes of the ambulance not transferred to the hospital's notes - or if they were, then why were they ignored? Ambulance crews are well trained and a valuable resource in treatment and diagnosis of a patient's illness, and deserve to be treated with greater respect than this incident implies; and secondly, why was it not until the third doctor in a different department finally believe the words of the patient?
An altogether stressful time.