"Emergency A&E visit with chest pains"

About: Ipswich Hospital

(as the patient),

I was taking a long weekend in Aldeburgh. I've had an annoying virus for eight weeks, giving me in turn a cough, head cold, blocked ears; morphing and mutating but never serious enough to take to bed. I'd been thinking it was putting a strain on my heart and had felt dizzy.

I woke up on Saturday with a pressure in my chest, barely able to breathe for pain. It got worse. I walked very tentatively across road to local surgery - it was closed. I rang the number on the door and got triage - they listened to symptoms and recommended 999. I asked to speak to a GP. He called back, I was getting more anxious, breathing and pain was worse, and he was concerned, but it meant a trip and a later appointment to see anyone. So I did 999.

The Saxmundham ambulance crew came really fast; gave oxygen and ECG, were cheerful, friendly, calm. They stuck more needles in me than I'd have liked but said it was important, kept me informed about heart rate (v low) ECG (bit of a delay). I wasn't having a heart attack but there was clearly something wrong.

We rattled to Ipswich hosp at high speed (the ambulance was quite new but had done over 200,000 miles, it was hard to close the doors and the heating didn't seem to work. Or maybe that was just me).

Hospital was clean, efficient, welcoming. Xrays and blood tests were done quickly and efficiently. Nice doctor from Kerala checked it out, reckoned the heart was normal and I could be discharged on double antibiotics and double dose of analgaesics. Clear, efficient and courteous.

Somebody was hovering needing my bed slot already.

So far it looks as if he was right. I'll speak to GP and see if further consultation is needed. I do hope they can forward all test results, XRays etc to my GP so we don't have to do all that again.


THANK YOU to excellent Saxmundham based ambulance crew

THANK YOU to Ipswich general - friendly healthcare assistant bringing welcome tea, cleaners, nursing staff, doctor on duty, porter missing Ipswich FA cup game to be at work. Also to triage service and local GP for help by phone.

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