"Heart attacks don't always follow a set pattern - William Harvey should know that!"

About: William Harvey Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

In May 2011, I had attended William Harvey hospital by ambulance, with upper left quadrant chest pain. Nothing was found on ECG or blood test, and the doctor attending me told me I was not having a heart attack – and that I will know when I do. He warned that it would be severe pain, starting in the centre of my chest going through to the back and then radiating down my left arm. Luckily, he made an appointment for me to have a treadmill test, but this was for a few weeks down the road.

5 days later, I had another 2 attacks, both much more acute. But I knew I was not having a heart attack because the A&E doctor told me how it would start and it was not like that. This again being on a weekend, I did not go to doctors until Monday, as I thought I must have pulled a muscle or trapped a nerve. I was left with severe exhaustion and no matter how much sleep I had I still felt exhausted,

I explained my pains and exhaustion to my practice doctor and told him what happened at the Harvey the week before. But still I was not diagnosed with heart problems,

I attended hospital for my stress test, wired up and then told by technician to sit outside as he was unable to do stress test. He went and got a doctor who the told me I had indeed had a heart attack and was admitted immediately.

I have now lost a third of my heart function got an aneurismal sack and on lots of pills including Warfarin.

Now I am old enough to know all this damage could have happened anyway, but had I been given the right info at A&E, if my doctor had given me an ECG, I may not have lost a third of my heart. Patients should be told any chest pain must be checked out, every time! Heart attacks do not follow any necessary pattern. Both A&E and the practice doctor need to pick up their game.

However, once I was diagnosed, all the services were tremendous!

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