"Emergancy Care Services"
About: Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester LE1 5WW
What I liked
My experience of emergency care services.
I work as a Consultant Surgeon 200 miles away from my family who are based in Leicestershire. On this particular night my wife calls me worried+++. My 3 year old daughter was complaining of discomfort in her throat, there is some question as to whether a foreign body was swallowed earlier that evening. She is now unable to swallow her own saliva.
I call 999 - as far as I'm concerned, with such symptoms, one must rule out the possibility of this object, being lodged at the level of the opening of the larynx in the oesophagus - Coins can flip or move, leading to either normal passage down into the stomach or blockage of an airway.
The Paramedic arrived, decided that her breathing was fine and suggested that things need not proceed further. If felt necessary wife and child could drive themselves in to A&E.
* Unacceptable *, If a child gets upset, something changes/moves an airway may be lost. A mother alone driving a car with a child who now cannot breathe with no acute medical help to hand will result in a fatal outcome.
I had to point this fact out to the paramedic on the phone before safe transit proceeded. (hence the original reasoning for a 999 call)
Wife + Child were left in A&E waiting area for over an hour before review, and this only happened after suggestions were made that a review should be prioritized.
I am writing this email as my child is waiting for an Xray. Wife reports back that the doctor has been very good, along with the charge nurse. Interestingly Some transmitted chest sounds have been clinically detected by the team, but the salivary swallowing difficultly seems to have changed now. It is now nearly 5 hours since the 999 call.
What could be improved
Whether there is now a problem or not is actually totally academic.
My concern is the lack of insight of the potential disastrous events which could have transpired.
Significant symptoms which seemed to be ignored, and just disappointment in the quality of care initially received at first contact.
Writing this is maybe pointless, Should I make a formal complaint, too much paperwork for little if no gain?
Is this an isolated incident or a refection of a National Health Service, so resource limited that the paramedic feels a 999 call for a paediatric potential airway compromise should not waste their time for transfer to hospital.
I was able to argue the point, but what about those people with no medical knowledge who depend on safe decisions?EmergencyPatient careServiceConsultantsParamedicsSurgeonsOpening hoursTelephoneWaiting AreasX-rayDoctorsNursing staffBureaucracyComplaintsPaediatrics