"In constant agony after unnecessary endoscopy"

About: Royal Free Hospital

I was told that I should have an endoscopy because my father had oesophical cancer (after 40 years of reflux and as a smoker, which aren't the case with me). The nurse taking my details initially processed me as another patient, including attaching the wrong wrist tag. They were the only friendly person I met that day, and they were flustered by five interruptions in the 10 minutes it took to write out my details. When I went into the room there were no smiles, though the person performing the endoscopy said 'hello again'. I was told to lie under a blanket, but then told to sit up again as they'd forgotten the numbing throat spray (which I'd been told when booking and on the day was the best option). Finally they put the endoscope down to my throat and I started violently gagging (something which ironically can damage the area they were examining). They pulled it out and said I'd done ok three times and didn't I hear them? They then re-inserted it (more violent gagging and pain) and carried out the examination. When the doctor said that it looked fine and did I want them to take tissue sample?s I said no, as I was in distress and pain, and the doctor yanked at the endoscope so hard that I was jerked upwards and heard a loud squeak. The doctor sighed, pulled hard but steadily, seemed to move it downwards (or release air?) and it came out quickly. No-one asked if I was ok, they just said wait in the other room. The next room had a number of beds and a chair by the nurses desk and I was told 'sit there'. My blood pressure was up, but apparently ok so I was immediately given by report. I have (had, as I have been damaged by the endoscope) a small hiatus hernia and minor grade A Oesophagitis. Until that day I had minor reflux 2-3 times a year. Since then I have had terrible reflux - a burning pain constantly which wakes me at night. My daughter said my room smelt like sick one morning from the breathed out acid, and my teeth are gritty. I also have headaches, and a burning sensation sometimes in my limbs. I phoned the Royal Free last week about it and spoke to nice person who told me to go to A&E. After a 2 hour wait at UCH I was told that it's very common to suffer injury (not the 1/1000 suggested by the RF) and I should take a proton inhibitor and eat small meals. I am disgusted and really angry at the attitude and behavior of the doctor. The literature states that the endoscope should be removed gently, and the doctor yanked it really hard with no care or concern, damaging at the very least the valve which stops stomach acids pouring upwards. I have no idea if I will ever recover, but after 10 days, and various unpleasant drugs I am still in agony, cause by a doctor not following procedure, and showing no concern for me.

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

We're sorry to hear that you had a bad experience at the Royal Free Hospital. We would like to look into this further so we would be grateful if you could email rf.communications@nhs.net with further details. In the meantime we will pass your feedback on to the department so that they can investigate. Thank you.

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