"Renal Tract Ultrasound Scan"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

On 07/10/2014 I attended Urology procedures for Cystoscopy. A KUB US was requested but the X-Ray Department said thay could not do it that day and an appointment would be made. On Friday 10/10/2014 I received a telephone call offering me an appointment on Monday 13/10/2014 I attended the appointment for the Ultra scan and x-ray of my kidneys on 13th . (I was seen very quickly, no delays) In a way the Ultra scan was funny, but in other ways it was not. The person doing the scan asked me if I had been invited to have an abdominal aortic screening. I said no, what was that and she explained that the aorta is the main blood vessel that leads away from the heart, down through the abdomen and down through the legs like a pair of trousers She said “I that saw you are in the at risk category and I thought while you are laying here I will a do an abdominal aortic screening”. She said "and I found one" as if it was a triumph, "You have an aneurysm" she said it as if I should applaud and say "well done...you have won this week’s star prize" (this is not criticizing, I found this a very humorous, gentle way of giving very un welcome and completely unexpected news) She then explained to me; what an abdominal aortic aneurysm was and what would happen in future regarding monitoring. She did not complain or criticize me that I did not have a full bladder. However, I did not receive the letter until 11;00 Tuesday 14/10/2014 informing me; I quote: You must have a full bladder, so please drink 1 litre (2 pints) of water 1 hour before your appointment and do not pass water. If your bladder is not full we may have to postpone your scan. Unquote I did not have a full bladder, in fact I had passed water before entering department. I apologize if not having fulfilled the conditions of the letter, however as I say I was unaware af conditions. Though the scan may be seen as unsatisfactory to the Urology Department. To me it was not. The question arises that over the past 6 years I have had many scans. (for pains in stomach, gallbladder/gallstones, prostate assessment, bladder and kidney (blood in urine seems re-occurring problem)) however, not once has an abdominal aortic aneurysm been mentioned or suggested. Does this mean that the Radiologist’s or Sonographer’s have looked at scans with “tunnel vision” or just ignored things they are not looking for? Bearing in mind that abdominal aortic aneurysm’s grow very slowly, do not develop quickly or in very short time, or did I for once have a very experienced, professional, competent Radiologist/Sonographer? My very great thanks to the operator who did my scan, for her professionalism, her humour, her understanding. My apologies for not fulfilling conditions of scan, however it was through ignorance of conditions

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. For patients falling within certain high risk groups our Ultrasound Department will carry out an aortic scan as part of a renal tract scan, which is why this additional service was offered. On this occasion a small aneurysm was detected, which, as you say, will now be monitored. With regard to the delay in receiving your appointment letter, it is possible that there was only a relatively short period between the booking and the actual appointment, which did not leave adequate time for the letter to arrive in the post. We are very sorry that this was the case and you only received the preparation instructions after the appointment had taken place. Fortunately it appears not to have impacted on your appointment. Many thanks for the kind feedback regarding the behaviour and communication of your sonographer - the Radiology Services Manager will ensure your comments are fed back to the person in question.

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