"Horrendous experience, unbelievable! Stay away!"

About: Hillingdon Hospital

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I was taken into A&E via ambulance while suffering the most incredibly painful abdominal pain i had ever experienced. I was treated fantastically by the paramedic staff- who were sympathetic, gave me gas-andair and treated me with dignity and respect. This all changed upon arrival at killingdon A&e!! I recently had a IUD fitted, was bleeding heavily and in agony that came on suddenly whilst I was at work with no previous problems until last weekend. I was told to expect some bleeding afterward but that was four months ago, and not to the extent I was experiencing along with the heavy bleeding that was flooding pads and tampons so i was extremely worried, and distressed that It had caused damaged to my uterus / effected my fertility for the future. I was given a room on the A&E, and asked to give a urine sample to see if it was a UTI. I tried to explain to the nurse that I was experiencing incredible pain (I have had UTI's before, an this was not what I was experiencing) However, just to rule it out I gave the sample and it came back with a faint indication of UTI, something that people with IUD'S often show, as advised by Marie stopes. Eventually, a very blank and unsympathetic nurse came and interviewed me very matter of factly- asking about what I had been experiencing lately with my IUD. I explained how much pain I was in, had no other symptoms other than stabbing pain and bleeding and desperately needed them to remove the IUD. She smirked at me, when i told her that I had had a termination before I had the IUD fitted almost four months ago and they made me feel like I was wasting her time by being there. She shoved codiene in my hands and told me to take painkillers whilst she came back to with a decision. (Bare in mind, I was still in incredible pain and had just sat through a series of questions from this awful nurse who made me feel like I was being interrogated rather than cared for) i was given no physical examination of any sort, not even a scan to check the IUD. Eventually she came back to me and said that they could not remove the IUD and that I had to go to a doctor and get it removed somewhere else. (what a joke- they have gyno wards are you telling me not one person could have done this for me?) They sent me off with only a prescription for Tramadol which i had to pay for myself. I had to wait a further three days of absolute agony to see a doctor who would remove the IUD. Marie stopes was not funded to remove them for free, only fit them so I had to attend a further away surgery and beg for an emergency appointment. When the doctor removed the IUD she discovered that the IUD was infact too low, becoming embedded in my uterus lining, causing significant pain, bleeding and could actually effect my long term fertility in the future. She advised me to contact a complaints office to file against this shocking excuse for a hospital. Furious.

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Response from Hillingdon Hospital

So sorry to hear that you felt you had a bad experience in A&E. IUDs can indeed produce severe pain and excessive bleeding, both of which are extremely unpleasant and worrying. IUDs should be removed by staff who are experienced in the technique, but we could have given you information about local family clinics and there opening times to assist this. The obstetric & gynaecological doctors may not be experienced in IUD removal. A physical examination may have been helpful, but it may be that the nurse’s opinion was that the fewer people who examined you would be better, especially avoiding unnecessary internal examinations as there would then be a potential for introducing infection. Infection with an IUD would certainly be undesirable. However, an explanation could have been given to you as that would have helped you to understand why you felt no treatment was given in A&E. With regards to the prescription, unless you are exempt from prescription charges, then we would charge you in the same way as if your GP prescribed medication for you. It appears that on this occasion our communication and attitude let us down and caused you unnecessary anxiety and pain for which we apologise. If you would like to discuss your experience with us further please do contact me; Claire Picton, Consultant Nurse, Emergency Department. Claire.picton@thh.nhs.uk I would like to assure you that your story will be shared with other staff in the department to ensure that there is learning, although it will unfortunately not affect the care that you received, hopefully it will avoid any patients in the future having a similar experience.

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