"Hospital Comment"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

What I liked

With the A&E Service, absolutely nothing!!!!

A friend phoned for ambulance when he suffered intense stomach pain. He was rushed to this hospital but been waiting for more than 3 hours before a nurse could even see him. He was told that it was only spasm and was sent home. No tests, not even physical examination.

The receptionist was accommodating despite her work loads.

What could be improved

After a week, we have to rush him again in the same hospital for the same reason. I checked where the pain is and it is just above his stomach, where the gallbladder and liver are located. No wheelchair was even offered when he cannot even stand nor walk. He was in pain and the receptionist tried to assist us as fast as she could despite being overloaded. Then he was just asked to sit and wait. He's twisting in pain in his seat for 2 hours before the nurse could see him. He was just given anti-spasm and been asked to sit and wait again. Since he cannot stand the pain anymore, I have to go to the nurse and tell them that he is in pain and all they said was, "we'll just have to wait for the effect of the pain killer". He then went inside and find himself a bed as he cannot breath sitting and wrenching in pain. The nurse who'd seen him first asked him to go back to his seat but he pleaded to stay in bed for his comfort. It's good that one of the nurses in the treatment area assisted him and had the initiative to take permission from the doctor to give him morphine. So at least, the pain is gone with the morphine. After 5 hours (from the time we arrived in the A&E), the doctor finally see him and had his blood tested. The tests show that he has infection in his gallbladder and liver. Then he was sent home.

Anything else?

I can't believe that you have to wait 5 hours in an A&E. I believe that "Emergency" means urgent. He is in severe pain but was asked to simply wait and was only given pain killer. He now had his operation done in another hospital as he is afraid of Medway Maritime Hospital. it is ironic that the same story happened to one of his work colleague last October. Same pain and same initial diagnosis - spasm. The very next day, this man went to London and right there and then, he was operated for his gall bladder. It was an urgent operation before things comes to worst.

I hope other conditions should be considered aside from spasm. Giving only pain killers could actually threaten the patient's life rather than saving them. Maybe, the hospital needs more A&E doctors so patients don't have to suffer that much. Receiving inappropriate diagnosis is life threatening itself.

Story from NHS Choices

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