"Terrible care in A&E"

About: Wythenshawe Hospital

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A few month ago I was in the early stages of having investigations done for a suspected heart problem. One day I was having very severe attacks where my heart raced up to 200 beats per minute, I couldn't breath, violently trembling, blacking out, vomiting, severe pain in chest and head. I called an ambulance and they took me to Wythenshawe hospital. The paramedics managed to capture one of my attacks on their ecg machine and they printed it out to give to the doctors and nurses in A&E. When I got to the hospital the paramedics wheeled me to a curtained room and left me there. I lay on the bed having attack after attack after attack for 45 minutes. I was left on my own completely. Not a single doctor or nurse came to see me, I was not hooked up to any machines and my husband was forced to sit and wait in the waiting area so even he was not around to look after me or support me emotionally. When eventually I was seen the attacks had stopped on there own. A male doctor looked at me like I was a hypochondriac looking for attention because my attacks had stopped by that point and he could not believe that someone of 26 and looked relatively healthy could have a heart problem. He wanted to send me home there and then despite me trying to explain that I am having investigations on my heart. My husband told him to look at the ecg print out that the paramedics had given them. We were then told that they had lost it! If it wasn't for a lovely lady doctor who had actually listened to what I was describing, I would have got sent home. She insisted I stay in at least until they got my blood results back. When they did come back they found a high level of cardiac enzymes in my blood stream which proved my heart had experienced a severe trauma. I was then kept in overnight in the coronary ward. I just want to clarify that the care I received on the coronary ward was much different. They were very attentive and took good care of me. They restored my faith in Wythenshawe hospital. Many months later I have learnt what is wrong with me. I have been diagnosed with a chronic illness called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). It is a neurological disorder where my autonomic nervous system (the part of my brain that controls my heart and other organs) is faulty. Since then when I have severe attacks like I experienced on this day I have chosen not to go back to Wythenshawe because of the poor care I received in A&E. I can accept them not knowing what was wrong with me as my condition is very complex and hard to diagnose but I cannot accept them losing my ecg, leaving me alone for 45 minutes while experiencing what I thought were heart attacks, and I can not accept the male doctor not listening to me and just dismissing me because I'm young. Sometimes the young have health problems too!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Wythenshawe Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on the NHS Choices Website. Please accept our apologies that your experience was less than satisfactory. Your comments will be passed to the relevant Departmental Managers for information , but if you would like to make a formal complaint or if the Patient Experience Department can assist you in any way, please don't hesitate to contact us on 0161 291 5600 or via email at pls@uhsm.nhs.uk Kind regards Patient Experience Team UHSM

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