"Severe pain during colonoscopy"

About: Derriford Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I had a colonoscopy very recently at Derriford Hospital.

I was quite nervous before it, but I wasn't expecting to experience the awful pain that I had during this procedure. I started out on Entonox gas which made no difference.

The first part was uncomfortable but bearable, then suddenly I was in really bad pain, took some more gas which did no good and was told to breathe which is difficult when the shock of the pain is stopping you breathing. I was then given sedation, fentanyl and another drug. I still made no difference, the pain was just awful.

I will never have this procedure again. Surely in this day and age, it shouldn't be necessary to be in so much pain. I have previously had cystoscopy - felt nothing at all.

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Responses

Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good morning,

Thank you for your message. I was very sorry to learn of the pain you experienced during your procedure and on receipt, contacted the Matron with responsibility for the area for comment.

I am advised that pain control for this particular procedure can sometimes be difficult to gauge but that every effort is taken to ensure that pain is monitored and reviewed throughout the procedure. A colonoscopy can be uncomfortable for the patient and the staff ask throughout the procedure about the patient's pain level and act accordingly. Staff also ask after the procedure about the level of pain the patient experienced.

If you would like to contact PALS at plh-tr.PALS@nhs.net Matron and her team would be happy to investigate your experience further.

We are very sorry that you have not had an opportunity to discuss your experience fully and if this is something that you would like to be arranged, please don’t hesitate to contact the PALS team on the e-mail address given.

Kind regards

Mary

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Update posted by lioness (the patient)

I was not asked about the pain level after the procedure. I was monitored for about half an hour and then allowed to get dressed. I then sat with others having tea and another lady was asked by a nurse about her pain level during the procedure. She replied that it was not enough. I was not asked.

There was no discussion before the procedure either. My husband had a colonoscopy 3 weeks before me and his was very good. He met the doctor and had a discussion about what was going to happen. He opted for Entonox, but they put the line in his hand straight away just in case. Also afterwards, the sister took us both into a room and discussed his procedure. He was told that she would ring him 2 days later to see how he was. None of this happened to me. I was given Entonox which was useless and then when the pain was out of control, they then decided to put the line in. I got the impression as they were running late that if I had had more sedation it would have meant me being there longer.

I still think that in this day and age, pain should be avoidable. I have friends in Canada and the States who have all had this procedure - totally pain free.

Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

I am so sorry to read the further details you have supplied. Once again, can I remind you that we would be very happy to look into your individual circumstances with you. Clearly, things were not as we would have wished and I would be more than happy to speak to you about how we can take things forward if you could contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at plh-tr.PALS@nhs.net

I do hope that you will feel able to contact us.

Kind regards

Mary

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Update posted by lioness (the patient)

Mary I have emailed you with more details.