"My Experience of Antrim A&E"

About: Antrim Area Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

First to be fair to Antrim Hospital the incident I am going to describe happened back in 2009, so improvements may have been made. I was getting Christmas decorations out of the roof space of my garage when the ladder slipped. I fell about 8 foot unto a concrete floor and ended up breaking both my back and left wrist. As I live locally to Antrim Area Hospital that is where the ambulance took me. I was in considerable pain, but was not offered any pain relief either by the ambulance paramedic or at the hospital. The X-Rays to determine the extent of my injuries were delayed because I was in so much pain I started to feel seriously nauseous. Even when I complained to the radiographer about this, resulting in me being taken out of the X-Ray room I was given an anti-nausea drug rather than pain relief. Eventually they managed to X-ray me without me being sick, which revealed I had broken my back at L2 and broken my left wrist in two places.

A junior doctor looked at the X-rays and decided that my back fracture was stable and tried to raise the back of the trolley I was on to put me into a sitting position. I still had had no pain relief and the agony this induced nearly caused me to pass out. Finally a nurse put a plaster cast on my wrist and I was placed in the A&E ward overnight. Finally about two hours later on the ward I was offered some morphine.

The next morning I was taken for a CT scan which revealed that my back fracture was serious. The Consultant who spoke to me to tell me that I was being transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital told me that I should have been immobilized over night. All in all I consider myself to be very lucky not to have ended up in a wheel chair due to how the junior doctor had treated me.

My experience in the RVH could not have been more different. I could not praise them highly enough.

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