"Panic Attack during Endoscopy not responded to..."

About: Warrington Hospital

When I was checked in by a nurse for my gastroscopy, I made it very clear that i suffer with anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I hoped this would ensure the nurses were mindful of my additional emotional care needs. Instead the nurse ignored what I had just disclosed and moved on to the more pressing issues in her form like whether or not I had mad cow disease. After waiting for two hours which massively increased my anxiety, with no one checking on me to see how I was feeling, I was taken to the procedure. Again I told the nurse about my anxiety and panic attacks, she told the doctor I was feeling nervous. I had the sedative and when the scope went down my throat I began to have a panic attack which continued throughout the procedure and for a while when I was in the recovery area. All the nurses did at this point was tell me to calm down which is the literal worst thing you should tell someone when they are having a panic attack. I was not allowed to see my family member which was understandable as it is the rules but was once again left by the nurses whilst I was having a full blown panic attack with a BP of 168. Whilst all the nurses were nice, none of them were rude and everyone was friendly – I really feel like they need more training on mental health (especially anxiety which is obviously going to be common in their line of work). I felt like I was being chastised for having a panic attack and there was no emotional care given by any of the nurses. If they’re not going to let someone in a state like mine see their mum, then they should be prepared to do more than tell me to calm down.

It’s a shame because I have been admitted to Warrington Hospital before and been in their a&e department many times, during which everyone seemed really responsive to my added needs because of my anxiety. This time, however, I felt like I was a nuisance because of it.

Overall, the department is great if you’ve not got a panic disorder. They’re just lacking in this area.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Warrington Hospital

We are really sorry to hear about your experience, to help us understand more and to learn from this please contact our PALS Team on PALS@whh.nhs.uk with your name and date/time of appointment and we will liaise with the department.

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