"My mother's experience at A&E and her missed diagnosis"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital / Accident and emergency Royal Sussex County Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My mother had been quite unwell & so we called 111 & they recommended they send an ambulance. The ambulance paramedics were brilliant & they assessed my mum quickly & determined she needed to go to hospital. We got to hospital in the morning (8am) & were there most of the day while they ran tests. They then wanted to discharge my mum &, as I was helping her dress, she collapsed into my arms. My sister told the consultant that she wasn't happy about mum being discharged & they said she needed a drip.

She rallied & we took her home.

However she continued to be very unwell overnight & so we took her to our GP & told her what had happened at the hospital. My mother had extremely low blood pressure & the GP phoned the hospital & virtually had to beg them to see her as they didn't seem to want to know. The GP argued it was a failed discharge.

We took my mum back to A&E and the doctor we saw seemed very dismissive, saying that if it wasn't for the fact my mum was in the day before, they would be sending her home.

My mum by this point had yellow eyes which even I had noticed. I ended up telling the doctor that I lived with my mother & even though I was not a doctor even I could see she was very ill & could they humour me by taking her in. The doctor reluctantly admitted my mum who deteriorated overnight.

It turns out she actually had gallstones trapped in her bile ducts & sepsis & was seriously ill. Even though I was very disappointed with her treatment in A&E, & apart from one really rude member of staff in the Acute Medical Ward, I could not fault the treatment of the staff on level 9 digestive diseases where even the consultant came in on his day off to operate on my mum.

She has since made a complete recovery despite her treatment in A&E and the fact that if they had sent her home I think she may have died.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

Thank you for your message.

Please contact PALS on 01273 664973 or at pals@bsuh.nhs.uk should you wish to discuss this further.

Kind regards

Patient Experience Team

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