"We feared the worst for our son throughout this awful day"

About: Royal Preston Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My son was recovering from suspected swine flu and seemed to be getting much better. He hit 15 years old this year and suddenly began getting severe stomach pains which got consistently worse. He was in agony and could barely move. We called the nurse who suggested that it may be related to his appendix and advised that we take him to see an out of hours GP. The GP was concerned and so referred us to Royal Preston Hospital immediately. At 9pm that day my son was admitted to the ward. They suspected that he had swine flu so put him in isolation – which proved to be isolation by every meaning of the word as no doctor or nurse saw him, I was so worried that I called my husband and asked him to request a doctor. It took a while but the doctor finally came and said that he suspected my son’s pain was being caused by his appendix. He wanted to get a surgeon so in the meantime he administered painkillers. A surgeon arrived at 3am and confirmed that it was due to his appendix and booked my son in for treatment first thing in the morning- which we assumed would be before 9am. The nurses prepared him in the morning and he was nil by mouth from 6am. At 2pm he’d still not been called so I asked if someone could come and see him. The doctor who was going through the ward said, “He’s first on my list”. By 4/5pm, no one had come for my son- he was in extreme pain and we were told at this point that he would be called into surgery very soon and was a priority. Finally, at 8/9pm Dr. Lewis came and spoke to us. He was kind, sympathetic and explained exactly what would happen. Finally at just before midnight he was operated on. I don’t think it is any way acceptable that my son who was in extreme pain with suspected appendicitis should have waited 27 hours before being operated on. This appendix could have ruptured and we feared the worst throughout this awful day. I am considering making a formal complaint.

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