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"left waiting in A&E after little sister lost consciousness "

About: Arrowe Park Hospital

(as the patient),

My little sister, who is 2, fell down about 4 stairs and she started crying. My step dad picked her up and she lost consciousness and went blue in her face, so we phoned an ambulance, which took us to Arrow Park hospital on the Wirral. We waited to be seen for 2 hours, and everyone sat in the waiting area seemed to get seen first. We thought, with a head injury the doctor should make you one of the top of their list to be seen, but we waited and waited. I think that it was disgraceful to be waiting that long over something as serious as that. I will also be writing to the hospital to complain!

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Response from 15 years ago
Submitted on 10/04/2008 at 11:30
Published on Care Opinion at 01:00

It is difficult to comment about your opinion without having specific details about your sister’s attendance. Having said that we would apologise that you considered your treatment at Arrowe Park to be less than acceptable.

All patients are assessed by an experienced nurse soon after arrival and are triaged into a colour-coded category. Arrowe Park uses a nationally recognised triage system based on the history of the injury or complaint and the clinical condition of the child on arrival to the department; this then indicates how quickly a child needs to be seen by a medical practitioner. Understandably you and your stepfather were extremely concerned about what happened to your sister. There can be a variety of reasons why a child would pass out after a head injury, most of which are not serious.

It would appear from your description of events that your sister was placed in the green category, i.e. patients who can wait in time order to be seen. Please be assured that all patients are seen according to clinical priority and this can sometimes seem unfair to patients in a lower triage category who see patients who arrive after them seen before them. There is also a paediatric assessment unit in the same area for patients referred directly from their GP’s. This can also give the impression that children are being seen out of turn.

If you wish to have a more detailed discussion about your sister’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact the Clinical Manager, Children’s Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital. We trust that your sister made a good recovery from her injury.

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