"Venflons and Painkillers"

About: Western Infirmary/Gartnavel General / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I attended the emergency GPs on a Saturday night as I was pregnant and in a great deal of pain with blood in my urine. The taxi driver thought I was in labour from the noises I made!

I had already attended the GPs who said my urine cultures came back negative but had given me antibiotics.

After waiting for over an hour to be seen by the doctor in the out of hours (because the doctor who was one didn't have experience with pregnant women), I was finally examined and moved to A&E. I had to sit for a little while and was then taken through to a cubicle. The staff were absolutely lovely and as attentive as they could be.

My only complaint about A&E/GEMS was that I arrived at 5pm in a great deal of pain, and wasn't given any pain relief until around 11pm. One nurse took it upon themselves to give me some fluids, which I was very grateful for.

The junior doctor who was in A&E explained that he wasn't sure what he could give me for pain, and had to call around to find out what was suitable. Whilst I really appreciate that they were keeping both myself and my baby safe, some paracetamol would have been a nice gesture. I really was in agony.

I was finally given some paracetamol and dihydrocodeine and sent up to the ward at around midnight. The night staff were absolutely perfect, and always answered buzzers. I needed morphine on two of the nights I was in and was vomiting with the pain. I wasn't told to wait - the two nurses were there almost immediately and seemed really to want to help. I can name Sarah and Claire, but not remember any other names unfortunately. They should be highly praised.

As is usual, day shift was a different story. Buzzers took a long time to be answered, and I had to ask several times for painkillers. When I went for an ultrasound of my kidneys, the ultrasonographer wasn't informed of my pregnancy, and had quite a shock when he saw a baby there!

Near the end of my stay, I was told that I'd be prescribed a different antiemetic as the time between doses was too long. I was repeatedly told that the nurses were making up the IV. I was served my lunch whilst still waiting (I'd not eaten in some time) and was then told "you're moving to the other ward". I was moved within minutes and had to ask to take my food with me. Once on the other ward, they tried to take the food away, and I told them that I was still waiting for the IV antiemetic, which never came.

At one point on the new ward, an auxiliary nurse came to check my blood sugar. When I queried why, they said it was because of my type 2 diabetes. I am not diabetic. They checked the handover sheet and told me the nurse would come to speak to me. I only managed to ask them when they came to do the obs. It was a misunderstanding, and they were just checking since I'd not been eating. I'm aware of the possibility of gestational diabetes, and was very worried I had developed this and no-one told me.

On my final day in L10E, I noticed a lump appearing next to my venflon. I alerted the nurse to this who said she would remove it, however she wasn't able to return for around an hour, at which point the lump had increased and my arm was incredibly sore for about a week afterwards. There were no fluids running at this time.

I understand that wards are busy and understaffed, but I am wondering if people getting washed in the morning can be rearranged and this would help staff administer painkillers and worsening symptoms be dealt with more quickly.

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Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Dear Peas

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide your feedback.

We have passed your comments on to the relevant service managers for A&E as well as GEMS.

Once again, thank you for using the Patient Opinion feedback system, it is greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards

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