"A bad experience of endoscopy"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Gastroenterology

(as the patient),

I attended an endoscopy appointment, and was slotted onto the end of a list. My wife is a nurse and she had always advised me that i should have sedation. However when I got there all the staff without exception said that it was the normal practice not to have sedation. Although I said that I did not like needles the Dr said that I did not need it, just have the throat spray. I was then laid on the bed, on my side with the plastic guide strapped to my mouth. The following 10 minutes can only describe as the most terrifying experience of my entire life.

I started to gag and cough and as the Dr pushed the scope further down my throat my whole body was convulsing continually gagging and trying to vomit. Eventually I did vomit but as I was laying on my side the vomit stayed in my throat and therefore I could not breath I tried to get the Dr to stop, but all that happened was the nurse held me down saying that I had plenty of room to breathe. This was easy to say but at that stage I was gagging so much I could not see at all.

After what seem like a lifetime the Dr removed the scope. They made me stay where I was for a short while as I caught my breath, when I sat up they walked me into the recovery area, where I was left there while I overheard the staff saying that as I did not have the sedation, they could finish as soon as I had left.

By the time I met my wife the whole left side of my face was scarlet and my eye looked like I had a cricket ball in its place, 10 minutes later the white of my left eye was totally red, where I had obviously burst a blood vestle during the gagging, coughing etc. The following day I was off from work and where I have been fighting to breath, convulsing etc I ached from my fingers & jaw to my feet. My eye is still extremely tender and is still blood shot over the other side of my eye.

The whole experience has been awful and continues to wake me up in a panic. I am not one for complaining, but I feel that I have been grossly mistreated. I even woke up last Saturday and said to my wife that I feel like suing the hospital.

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Response from Fionnula Robinson, Director of Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for commenting on your experience at East Surrey Hospital. I'm so sorry that you had a bad experience. This is particularly distressing as we have had such positive feedback since our new endoscopy unit opened last December.

Your comments have been passed onto our endoscopy dept and they would very much like to discuss your care with you. Rosemary Goodchild is our endoscopy unit manager and can be contacted on 01737 768511 extension 8204.

Alternatively, you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) which is available to listen to concerns, suggestions or queries and can help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. You can contact PALS by telephone on 01737 231958, email: pals@sash.nhs.uk, or by writing to: PALS, East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5RH.

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