"Absolutely dreadful and unfortunately not for the..."
About: Lister Hospital Lister Hospital Stevenage SG1 4AB
Posted via NHS Choices
What could be improved
Waiting times. Bearing in mind I accompanied my elderly mother who has a history of heart attacks, heart disease, mini strokes, PE and DVT, pneumonia and associated breathing problems she was kept waiting for more than 6 hours before she had a chest x-ray.
Having arrived a 9 am and by 3pm there was still no sign of a x-ray I left the hospital to go back to my family. I told medical staff that I would return. At the time I left my mother was sitting up, talking and waiting for her x-ray. She had no pain relief and was very uncomfortable having spent most of that time on hard A&E trolley type beds. She was moved to a side ward in A&E just before I left.
On my return two hours later she was virtually unconscious; her eyes were rolling, her speech was slurred, she was dribbling and incoherent! I asked the nursing staff what had happened and was told that she was just "exhausted", had been "thrashing around" and was sick. They had switched off the light in the room so she could sleep.
It was very clear to me that she was not exhausted but was in some significant distress. She was thrashing around, her diseased heart was racing, her tongue was hugely swollen and she was unable to speak. She could hear me and she was only able to communicate my nodding or shaking her head. After insisting on seeing a doctor I was advised that she had been prescribed IV cyclazine for her sickness. Was she having a stoke or had she had a stroke? Was this an allergic reaction to the Cyclazine? Consequently it was decided it was a serious allergic reaction and she was given antihystamine to treat the allergy.
What would have happened had I not returned? When would the medical staff have noticed the allergic reaction rather than "exhaustion" from waiting for an x-ray.
In addition the saline drip which was prescribed and set up before I left at 3 pm had been allowed to become disconnected from my mother's hand and had been dripping onto the ward floor for the two hours that I was away. No one had noticed until I told them!