Saturday 2 July 2011

NHS Hospitals, Babies and Paediatrics


Well the next time a Doctor says, go to hospital to be on the safe side, I won't necessarily be saying yes please.

Yesterday was a horrid horrid experience which I am in no hurry to repeat.

What was wrong ...?
Well it was an ordinary day.  Needed some Cow & Gate so decided to walk to town. After buying it, I realised I hadn't had lunch yet and was starving, so ordered a beautiful salad in a cafe, just before they closed, at 4:55 p.m.  Half way through my salad Aaron got grumpy in his push chair so I passed him an Organix Rice Cracker (he's had them everyday since January) and he devoured it, and then half of a second one.  Few mins later got grumpy again so I took him out so he could stand and hold my lap.  Finished lunch, he was okay. Paid he was okay.  Walked to a mobile phone accessory stand.  While there he started to SCREAM like nothing he has ever done in a year.  I took him over to a seat in the shopping centre and gave him calpol in case it was teeth.  He was touching his jaw bone etc... Then as it was dinner time gave him 2 spoons of solids (Hipp Organic) - he had 2 spoons and rejected the rest.  Carried on screaming.  Picked him up and consoled him.  Put him in a £1 toy machine that you sit in and he went mental.

Then walked along holding him and pushing buggy, he was inconsolable, and really distressed screaming.  I kept repeating Aaron I will take you to the Doctor. At one point his lips looked tinged blue and he was coughing trying to clear his throat and screaming. Couldn't carry him any longer so put him in in pushchair and started running for the Doctor which is a 15 min walk away.

Aaron kept screaming and holding his jaw/face but the calpol wasn't kicking in and he was acting like there was something in his throat, even though I knew he hadn't put anything odd in his mouth, so the only thing I could think was that it was an allergic reaction.  He lay back into the buggy and screamed all the way to the Doctor's, which is very very very unlike him.  He cried so much he made all of the area around his eyes all red and puffy which has never happened - he is not a baby that has tantrums.

When we got there he screamed so loud reception couldn't even hear me, and the Dr had to see him immediately, which still took 10 mins as he was with a patient, who was undressed on his couch.

Nothing would sidetrack Aaron from screaming and I was 100% positive something serious was wrong.

The Doctor took his temperature via his ears which upset Aaron more. Listened to his chest. Looked at his throat. Put this electronic thing on finger to measure oxygen. And could see he was still distressed so decided to call an ambulance in case Aaron had consumed a foreign body and needed an x ray.

We waited about 30 minutes for the ambulance during such time that Aaron stopped crying, started putting weight on his legs on my knee and started touching things, looking at things, talking baby language and smiling... I said to the Dr shall we cancel the ambulance. He said no.  He wouldn't even let us leave the room so he could see other patients, as he wanted to "keep Aaron under observation".

The paramedics arrived and were lovely and put us and all our stuff in the back of the ambulance.  As they were doing all of that, hubby arrived as I'd called him too and he'd walked out on a night shift (oh dear).  I told him to go home and get resources (more mile, more bottles, more nappies etc...) as I'd only popped out and as a result did not have much with me.

The paramedics said they hadn't taken a long time due to being with someone else. They had just started their shift and we were their first customers.

Hubby then met us at the hospital after popping home.

I had the whole journey to chat to the paramedic while the other one drove.  She could tell that everything was okay now, and said she has 3 children of her own.

She got us to sit down and she booked us in at the hospital. At this time it was about 7:20 which is crazy... where had 2 hours already gone....?

Then 2 things happened (1) she must have said it wasn't an emergency and (2) she had a letter from the Doctor.  He had addressed it, "To Whom it May Concern" which apparently is the reason we ended up being there for HOURS.  When we eventually saw the Triage nurse about an hour later, she said we would have been seen much sooner if it was addressed to Paediatrics.  She criticised every sentence of his letter, and the things he had said to me.

Although she examined him, she said we would need to be seen by a Doctor.  Like the GP had measured his oxygen with an electronic device on Aaron's finger, she did the same, but via his big toe. She also took his temperature and listened to his chest.

She said she would move his card to the emergency section.... it didn't turn out to make a difference.

At 8:30 p.m. we were told we only had 2 people in front of us.. I still put Aaron to sleep in his buggy as I knew it might still be a while and he was grizzly - thank God I did.  At 9:35 we were told we had 1 person in front.... I then saw that lady and her little boy leave very soon after (with his arm in a sling) yet over half an hour later I went into the emergency section and they said our file was no longer there, which is why we weren't called "next".  It took 10 further minutes to pin down the file (which had been moved to another department without the nurse on duty being informed - she was as cross about it as me) and we got seen at ........( a couple of my tweets are missing so I am now not sure what time... my battery was low so they must not have posted).
Asleep in hospital at 8:45 p.m.
Anyway when we did get seen by a Dr I had to wake Aaron up, but he woke up talking before opening his guys and was really excited when he saw his surroundings.  The Dr examined him and then insisted on his seeing a Paediatrician so we would have to wait - again.  They let us stay in our curtained cubicle so I heard his phone call to her.  He explained everything and said he didn't have enough experience with children to feel comfortable discharging us.  It was the FIRST time that Paeds had been told of our case.  While we waited Aaron insisted on walking up and down up and down the corridor... and everyone who saw him loved him but I first took the opportunity to change his nappy:

By the time the Paediatrician came he was then exhausted and again getting a little bit grizzly.  But he did cheerfully allow her to examine him.

She fully examined him and he was happy but when she wanted to look in his ears he went mad and I struggled to hold him down.  I then couldn't hold him down enough for her to look in his throat so I went out to the corridor to get Dad so he could help.

She decided he did not need an xray (which was the whole reason we were there).  She was absolutely lovely, but did say we had grounds for a complaint in how it'd all been handled.

She gave us permission to go at 11:42, but by the time we drove out of the carpark it was exactly midnight.  In the carpark we met a lady and her little girl, who had both been there just as long as us.

Crazy crazy crazy and I would not be in a hurry to go through it again.

In the carpark at midnight... poor baby

The lit up window in the distance is the room I was in after Aaron was born (can be seen from the carpark) *nostalgic*

Liska xxx