"Missed Pneumonia in A&E"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Acute Medical Initial Assessment Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Acute Short Stay Medicine Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Emergency Medicine London Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as a relative),

My husband took unwell on a business trip abroad (16 hour flight). He went to the doctor there and was told he had flu and given a variety of medicine to help him recover. After about 3 days he was still unwell but felt well enough to get a flight home. On the flight he took unwell again with an extremely high fever being the worst. After his flight and arriving in London he called 111 for assistance. He advised them that he had a fever, shortness of breath, cough, coughing up blood and the shivers. 111 then sent paramedics to his hotel. The paramedics checked him over, gave him paracetamol for the fever and told him he had a very bad chest infection and to go straight to a& e once he arrived back in Aberdeen.

I collected my husband about 8: 30am at the airport and took him straight to a& e. Checked into a quiet a& e, only my husband and 1 other person. Was taken within 5 minutes by a member of staff, who was very rude when he asked if they could wait 1 minute while I came in from the car, I’m 8 months pregnant so don’t move quickly right now. Relayed the same information that was given to the paramedics the night before. They checked his blood pressure and temperature and said that what was described wasn’t something that they would treat in a& e and to contact his GP.

My husband reiterated that he was coughing up blood and that he thought his temperature was ok due to taking paracetamol before getting on his flight and that he was told he had a chest infection. They didn’t even listen to his chest in a& e.   Again we were told to get in touch with our GP. We then drove 20 miles to our GP, where he saw a senior nurse practitioner, who after listening to his story and symptoms was amazed that nobody was concerned that he was coughing up blood after a flight. He arranged for him to go straight to ward 101 at ARI for assessment.

After further tests in ARI it was established that he had severe pneumonia and a blood clot was ruled out. He then spent 3 days in hospital on IV antibiotics and fluids before being discharged home. The care received by the senior nurse practitioner, ward 101 and ward 103 was brilliant. However very disappointed in the treatment received from a& e


Response from Fiona Robertson, Chief Nurse, Medicine and Unscheduled Care Division, NHS Grampian

Dear Daisychain1234

Many thanks for taking the time to share your experiences of ward 101 and 103 and also the A&E department. I hope that your husband is recovering well, it sounds like he had a really difficult time.

I am disappointed to read about your experience of A&E, this is certainly not what we want for our patients and apologise that you found the staff member rude and unhelpful and ended up being directed to your GP only to be admitted back to ARI. I will certainly share your experience and concerns with the A&E team to allow reflection and review.

I am pleased to hear that your husbands experience in ward 101 and 103 was brilliant, The practitioner and full team will be delighted to receive this praise.

I apologise again that your recent attendance at A&E caused so much distress and wish your well for the safe arrival of your baby.


Fiona Robertson

Chief Nurse

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