"Better Training needed."

About: Ayr Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

In early August I had an appointment in the day surgery unit to have a hernia treated. I was at the hospital at the appointed time as arranged, was prepared for keyhole surgery and about to be anesthetized when the surgeon asked them to stop. After apologizing he explained there were no instruments in theatre for the operation to go ahead.

I wrote to the hospital to raise my concerns at the very late cancellation.

The operation was rescheduled to later in the month, this time it went ahead as anticipated.

In the recovery room as I was coming round from the anesthetic I was confused by the number of incisions as I had expected only one small incision due to the keyhole procedure that had been explained to me.

Also whilst in the recovery room the surgeon came to see me and asked if I had taken pain killers and suggested that I did in order to relax my body and to reduce the discomfort I would feel when the anesthetic wore off. He left before I was able to ask him about the incisions.

I asked the nurse for painkillers as recommended. I asked for co-codamol as I am allergic to some painkillers but have successfully taken co-codamol in the past. The nurse said tramadol had been written up in my notes, I assumed this would be OK as I knew my notes had details about my allergies.

The tramadol was administered intravenously and very soon I started to feel the warning symptoms of going into anaphylactic shock. I asked the nurse to stop the drip immediately and take the tube out of my arm, also to get the epi pen from my bag and to administer the adrenalin. Because of the emergency situation a number of nurses had gathered but none of them knew how to use the epi pen and I ended up treating myself.

Once things had returned to normal I asked them what the procedure was in these circumstances, amazed that there was no training in / knowledge of using something as simple as an epi pen.

I feel the outcome could have been very different if I had not stopped the drip in time, on reflection I should have had a red band on my wrist to indicate possible allergic reactions but this was missing. There seem to have been a catalogue of errors regarding my treatment and have raised these concerns with the hospital from whom I am still waiting to hear. I’m also interested in having an explanation for the 9 incisions during the keyhole surgery.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Neon2,

We have investigated your complaint and I believe you will receive your letter of response very shortly. With regards to the one additional aspect of your care not previous covered in your communications, your Surgeon is aware of your concerns and this will be discussed in more detail with him when you return to the out-patient clinic for review in 3 months time.

I do hope you are recovering well,

Best wishes


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