A blood clot in my leg (DVT)

What was good:

– after I was re-measured, I was really upset that I could not get help from hospital; but my GP got me access to the correct sized RAL class 2 stockings to help me avoid post thrombosis syndrome.

– my physio returned my telephone call to give me new exercises when I got stressed about my walking not improving.

– Until December 2012, my GP had a superb computer booking system that allowed patients to book online. And view appointments online. It was invaluable throughout the INR testing.

– The convenience and ease in that INR testing could be done through my GP surgery, rather than needing to visit Addenbrookes.

What could have been done better:

– A and E or my GP or CamDoc could have taken my symptoms seriously, and helped me get an earlier (DVT) diagnosis. I was in a lot of pain, for a five-week period. And my leg was swollen and useless for months, possibly as a result of the delay in getting access to warfarin treatment.

– Addenbrookes Thrombosis Treatment Team/Anti-Coagulation Team could have given me access to a DVT Consultant, or someone that could examine my leg, explain my DVT and help advise what was stopping me walking. My leg was swollen, cold, bent, and I could not move my toes.

– Other than the first ten days when I was visiting the TTT and could ask the nurses questions (they just told me that everyone was different, and some people can’t walk, and when I mentioned chest pains and my other leg also being swollen and hurting, they told me it was unlikely I had another clot and failed to help me), I had no access to care/advise during my three months on warfarin and that made the whole process a lot more stressful than it needed to be.

– Addenbrookes could have had a DVT Consultant talk to me, and discuss my treatment, and concerns, before sending out a standard letter to take me off warfarin, without any interaction with me over a period of months.

– My walking got worse after I discontinued warfarin, and I had no contact to seek help, guidance or advice.

– Bupa could have communicated promptly with the Thrombosis Treatment Team to make sure that I got access to the treatment that I needed.

– My GP could have liaised with me regularly, and kindly. Rather than initially shouting at me, then at subsequent appointments watching the clock during appointments, and at another appointment suggesting taking away an MSK referral when the nurse insisted that I see a GP for chest pain.

– My GP could have retained their – superb – online booking system, after the December 2012 computer upgrade.


Mistakes led to my son’s death

In November of last year my son had a routine Hernia operation at Hexham hospital, everything went well but he was very sore after. Our nightmare started just over a week later.

He was in a lot of pain but we had been told to expect this from the hospital, we realised he had lost some weight and when I asked him about it he said he felt sick when he thought of food – this from someone that could have eaten a horse had you put salt and pepper on it.

The following day we picked him up from his flat that he shared with his girlfriend, he looked terrible. He sat down and he really was moaning with pain. I told him I was ringing the GP who arrived 20 minutes later. He looked at my son and told me he was sending him to hospital. He gave me a note which stated that my son had a blood clot and he rang the ambulance which arrived about 30 minutes later.

It took the paramedics 15 minutes to get him into the ambulance as he was in so much pain, we had gone about 5 min and the paramedic in the back with us told the driver to put the blue lights on. I noticed my son’s arm had gone limp and he was being worked on – the driver was told to get us there as quickly as poss and to have the resus team ready. I was in a state of sheer panic by this time. They got my son round and he turned around and said ‘Mam I thought I had died’. He was crying and so was I.

We eventually got to Wansbeck where my son was taken into resus. I was allowed in after 15 minutes. My son still looked ill but the colour had returned to his face. He told me to stop crying. I was told they had given him morphine and had done a couple of tests.

About an hour later a Consultant came to seem my son, he told me my son was a fit young lad and he was not worried about him. I replied that I was very worried. I asked what they were going to do, he told me they were going to top my son’s pain relief up and send him home in a couple of hours. I was mortified and told him I did not agree with that and that my son had vomited blood and could not eat properly. He relented and they kept him in over night. He was put on a ward and his girlfriend and I went with him. He was really hot and asked his girlfriend to take his jogging pants off but to be careful as his legs were very sore. We mentioned this to a nurse but she just said ok.

When we were leaving my son was becoming agitated again and I was worried he may stop breathing like he had in the ambulance. I stood 15 minutes trying to get the attention of the nurses who I overheard discussing their social life. I told them I was worried and they said they would see to him. I wasn’t convinced so I rang my son when I got home, he said he was tired because they had given him codeine so I wished him goodnight.

The following day I rang my son in the morning. He said he was still tired. I told him I would see him later, and I rung the ward and asked how he had been. They told me he had had a comfortable night.

I visited my son in the afternoon, his girlfriend was already there and was told they were discharging him. I wasn’t happy about this and expressed my opinion to the Dr who replied by saying that I could probably look after him better at home. I was gobsmacked.

Anyway we came home but he vomited nearly all the way home. I said I would take him back in to Wansbeck. He replied by telling me I should stop being obsessive and that they had told him there was nothing wrong with him.

He still could not eat properly and remained ill but had picked up slightly. At the beginning of December we had an appt with the doctor who told my son he was not going to examine him because ‘he didn’t look well’. His weight had been taken on the back in November before this appointment and he had been 12 stone 7. On this day, only 2-3 weeks on, he was 10 stone 2. We came out of the hospital and I made an appt at our GPs where he was given antibiotics.

The following day my son rang and asked me to make him steak, chips and onions for his dinner. I was over the moon at last he was eating. We went out Christmas shopping and had a lovely day, his girlfriend rang that night to say he had never stopped eating, I was so pleased and went to bed happy for the first time in days.

Two days later, my son rang to say he had a sore leg so me and his dad went round. I told him I would ring the Dr but he told me not to, he said he was going to have a bath and see if it helped. As we left the flat he was lying in the bath we were all laughing. He told us he would see us later and that he loved us, we shouted back that we loved him too.

It was the last time we saw our beloved son alive, he died just after 3 o’clock. We couldn’t believe our normally 6ft 5ins fit and healthy son had gone.

A police guard was put on his body in the morgue plus someone from Hexham hospital. No one could go and see him unless they were on a list. All his files were seized from Wansbeck.

A post mortem showed that the blood clot had been dated to that first incident where he was taken in by ambulance. No one would sign a death certificate which we assumed was because mistakes had been made.

A senior police officer came to see us and said that he normally dealt with murders or manslaughter cases but had been told to do ours. There were two postmortems, both were the same and dated the blood clot at the same date as the first. We had a meeting with the CEO, but all we got out of him was a sorry.

An independent investigation was done which highlighted 18 mistakes had been made because the police seized all the paper work – it was all down in black and white.

We had the inquest in early 2011, a narrative verdict was given. When asked about the abnormal ECG we were told it was probably because my son was tall and thin, but that the machine did not work properly anyway. Another Dr, who discharged my son without reading his notes or seeing him and sent him home with a news score of 4.5 (which is critical) was asked what role was his at Wansbeck, he replied he didn’t know. It was a catalogue of errors which cost my son his life.

When a Dr was asked why the pathway wasn’t followed he argued it was, he was then asked if that was the case why did my son not have the CT scan. After 5 minutes of arguing he said that my son wasn’t given the scan because he could have got cancer in later life. An expert witness Dr said that my son could have been saved if they had given him the scan.

To my understanding, the Consultant had overruled the GP’s letter, an xray showing a patch on my son’s lung which was marked by the radiologist, a raised D.Dimer reading and a junior Dr saying he thought it was a blood clot. This was the same member of staff that flippantly told me “Your son is a young fit lad and I am not worried about him”.


None of the neurosurgeons and radiographers could agree on a diagnosis

I was admitted in November 09 for a total thyroidectomy after being diagnosed with cancer in October (had a hemithyroidectomy in September). The surgery went well, my consultant is a great guy. Ward 21: very busy. However, I hardly dared ask anything when after requesting some pain killers, I was told rather nastily: you’re not the only one ‘love’; you’ll have to wait! And wait I did. For an hour!

Discharged in the middle of November, whilst complaining of feeling nauseous and tingly but ‘you’ll be fine’ I was told. Got home feeling worse; didn’t sleep as I was tingling all over and rang the ward on the next day at 7 am to ask for advice; I was told to come back straight away before I started ‘cramping’ and to bring my suitcase with me. My partner drove me back but I got into such a state – fingers paralysed, unable to talk that an ambulance picked me up and rushed me in.

Hypocalcemia: no calcium left in my body. I was re-admitted for a couple of days and given loads of calcium. My consultant came to explain that the glands that produce the calcium were damaged during surgery and only one was left which was re attached to the muscle. I should have had a blood test before I was discharged, especially when I was complaining of tingling but I didn’t have on. I believe this was because they needed the bed. This was a very scary experience. Following my second discharge, I got terrible headaches: I kept losing my balance, hitting furniture, tripping until I became totally confused: couldn’t figure out how to get dressed, use the toilets, write etc.

I went to the A & E at 1 pm at the beginning of December; my partner explained how confused I was and getting slowly worse; I was seen by a triage nurse at 16.30! Then a doctor said I needed a CT scan but needed to be admitted. Got a bed at 18.30 in the assessment ward and just waited there with this excruciating headache. Saw another doctor at 23.30 who again said I needed to have a CT scan but it was by then too late. He thought I might have had a slight stroke. I asked for something for the pain. Come the next morning I was still waiting for pain relief, saw another doctor who said yet again that I needed to have a CT scan! But I’d have to wait as they were very busy; still waiting for pain relief; then got told that I’d have to wait until Tuesday as they had emergencies to deal with first and I was not one of them. Then, I was told I’d have to wait until Wednesday.

Anyway, another junior doctor got involved and managed to book me an MRI for the Tuesday. This took place and the doctor told me that I’d had a bleed in the brain but they were sending the scan to Royal Hallamshire for advice. I was still in the assessment unit by then and finally heard from Hallamshire two days later.

Was then told by another doctor that it was not a bleed but a blot clot and I could go home; just like that? yes, it’ll get better by itself. Can it happen again? oh yes, as it’s happened once already! And it’s safe for me to go home even with this terrible headache? Yes. This was 10 in the morning: I left at 4 pm as it took 6 hours of waiting to get the medicine from the pharmacist. By then, I was not ‘confused’ anymore but very unhappy as I was scared.

I went to see my GP and they made enquiries which led to the following: none of the neurosurgeons and radiographers could agree on a diagnosis. So, nearly a month later, the headaches have more or less gone but my head feels ‘tight’ and ‘fuzzy’ at times, not to mention slight episodes of confusion and I am having another MRI in Sheffield this week. Well before starting my radioactive treatment.

I know how busy nurses and doctors are but being courteous and showing a bit of understanding doesn’t take any longer than being uncaring or rude. Don’t these doctors and nurses realise how this series of events could be distressing to me, especially in my vulnerable position? I am angry that I have been treated like this, with no regards whatsoever for my feelings and after my experiences I do not want to be treated at Doncaster Royal Infirmary again.


Where do we go from here?

Having just returned home again from the A&E Dept and having seen 3doctors all of whom gave a different diagnosis today. Firstly my daughter broke her left ankle November last year and underwent an operation where pins and a metal plate were put in place to mend the break however after many months of pain and intense physio my daughter noticed “something” wasn’t right with her ankle and decided to go back to her consultant who decided the plate should be removed, my daughter also has severe back pain and a varicose vein running through her right knee which has been giving her a “strange” pain.

My daughter underwent surgery 2days ago to remove the plate from her left ankle leaving her on crutches and unable to walk once again.

Today my daughter has woken up with an unbearable painful right knee unable to get an appointment with our G.P she went to our local walk in centre who advised her to go straight to the a+e department as she thought it could be a clot on the knee, on arrival she was booked in and seen by triage who told her the wait would be 3 and a half hours my daughter then asked what would happen if she left the department and it was a blood clot the nurse said she could die, having 3 young boys to look after etc she made arrangements for them to be picked up by a family member and waited in a+e for 3 hours before being moved from pillar to post, cubicle to cubicle, having no battery on her mobile phone she couldn’t get in touch with anyone. 3 different nurses/doctors came in and out and ran a blood test. my daughter has just arrived home now she has spent approx 10 and a half hours in a+e she has had no further appointment no medication and an unclear diagnosis??? 1 doc said painful joints the other a blood clot and another strain from being on her crutches……. she is 24years old has a normal bmi isn’t overweight is fit and healthy otherwise and we have a family history of blood clots, basically I feel she was dumped in cubicles and left there to feel like an inconvenience and worried sick.

i am quite disgusted as no proper tests were carried out and haven’t a clue what were supposed to do or further more what is up with her knee…… i will hold the trust fully responsible if in the near future my daughters knee problem turns out to be something sinister


Thanks to clinic 1 & ward B3 staff

I was a patient in clinic 1 and ward B3 of the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for the treatment of a blood clot. The care I received during my stay there was very good. All staff were very helpful – nothing was ever too much trouble for them. As far as I’m concerned, nothing could have been better.

Thank you to all staff in clinic 1 and ward B3.


Top class care from Rotherham coronary care

I had a heart attack and a blood clot on my lung. I went to RDGH coronary care and was treated by Steve Mason and his crew, who were brilliant – and really looked after me. They didn’t give me long – but I’m still here! I had top class treatment from everyone – I couldn’t fault any of them.

I was referred to Breathing Space, who’ve been like angels. They’ve really helped me.

I also had a hernia operation – which didn’t go right, but you can’t win everytime! It was nowt to do with the doctor though, as I had internal bleeding. But they got it all sorted out in the end.

Great care all round – many thanks!


My hospital stay and care

I was suffering from shortness of breath so went to A&E at East Surrey hospital as it was a Saturday. I had been going through IVF treatment and one of the complications can include blood clots so this is what the doctors suspected initially.

The A&E Dr mentioned doing a chest X-ray to check for other causes such as pneumonia which I knew was very unlikely as I had no symptoms of this. Due to the fact that I had a positive pregnancy test while in A&E, the doctor said that they could understand if I was hesitant to have an X-ray due to this and they would check with the gynaecologist what they thought.

I didn’t hear anything else about this and was then transferred to the acute medical ward where I was assessed again. The Dr then came to speak to me and explained that they would do a VQ Perfusion scan to check for the blood clot as it was less radiation than a CT scan. Unfortunately this has to be done on Monday so they would keep me in over the weekend.

The following day my symptoms worsened and I was feeling very dizzy and couldn’t walk fast without being very short of breath. I asked the nurses if the doctors would be coming for rounds and they said not normally on a Sunday. By the evening I couldn’t eat anything without getting severe indigestion and was having a lot of abdominal pain. My blood pressure was very low so the nurses called the on call Dr to examine me and they advised some IVFT and medication for gastritis.

Later on I started vomiting and the nurse said she would ask the Dr if I could have an antiemetic. A few hrs later I asked again and was told they would ask the Dr again but I still didn’t get anything. During the night my blood pressure was still low so the on call Dr was paged repeatedly by the nurses as is their protocol and eventually I heard the Dr come up to the ward. There was a heated exchange with the nurses but they did not come to examine me and apparently said they didn’t want me to have any antiemetics.

The next day I was feeling pretty awful and again waiting around all morning to see a Dr. I knew that with a pulmonary embolism I shouldn’t be getting worse and my abdominal pain was awful. At about 10. 30 the porter came to take me for an X-ray. I asked why I was having one as my understanding was I was having the special VQ Perfusion scan as I knew an X-ray wouldn’t show a blood clot. They took me to X-ray anyway and while waiting I could see signs everywhere warning about the risks of X-rays during pregnancy.

I was called in and asked the radiographer why I was having the X-ray, they said didn’t know. I was very emotional and worried about the risks during pregnancy so the radiographer paged my Dr to find out what the plan was.

I was left in a corridor to wait and eventually after not getting hold of the Dr they took me back to the ward after about an hr. Consequently I had then missed the Dr doing rounds so asked the nurse to page them to ask them to come and see me and explain what was happening. Eventually the Dr came at 3pm and explained that in order to do the scan, a chest X-ray had to be dome first. He then went on to explain the relative risks of radiation in pregnancy and once I had heard this I was reassured.

I went down to X-ray in the evening and after the radiographer had taken the X-ray they said they wee going to get the consultant to have a look. I was taken back to ward and told that they had also paged the medical on call Dr to have a look.

I obviously knew they had found something on the X-ray but as usual I knew the Dr would not be coming to speak to me until the morning.

That night I couldn’t sleep at all, as I was really struggling to breathe and was feeling so nauseous. The Dr was paged twice and came to see me in the early hours.

They explained that the reason I was struggling to breathe was due tot the fact I had lots of fluid around my lungs (pleural effusion) that needed draining but it was best to do it during the day. I am a VET and if an animal presented to me at 7pm at night with a pleural effusion we would deem that an emergency and it would be having it’s chest drained within 20 minutes of admission.

I was very concerned about this but also relived to know that there was a reason I felt so bad and hopefully I would improve soon once they drained my chest.

Anyway I didn’t have my chest drain inserted until late afternoon the next day and after looking at my chest CT scan done just before the drain was put in compared to my X-ray the night before there was quite a degree of deterioration with such a large amount of pleural effusion, one of my lungs was collapsed and everything was being pushed over to the other side.

I gradually starting improving but ended up staying in 3 weeks as the fluid kept being produced.

The rest of my stay was ok but I would see a different Dr everyday and felt that there was no communication between them so they often had different opinions on my treatment which I think ended up prolonging my stay longer than I hoped.

I will be making a formal complaint but thought I would post here as well.


Hip replacement at QMC

As you will see from my answers to your questions overleaf, I was very pleased with most aspects of both the medical and personal attention I received at the Northern General Hospital. So the following comments are in the nature of suggestion rather than outright criticism.

Under the heading, “Information and decision making shared appropriately”, there is much that could be done to improve a situation that scarcely exists. For the record, here it was happened to me. Just before noon on Thursday 21st May 09, I slipped on a wet paving stone in my front garden, falling heavily and fracturing my hip. The operation to reset the bone was carried out the next day following a scan showing that there were no blood clots in my body. Because I am physically fit, I was released to go home one week later. At home, coping with only a pair of elbow crutches was much more difficult than in a hospital ward, in spit of the heroic efforts of my wife, who is far from well herself. While the operation wound on my left hip has been healing steadily, the ankles and calves both in both legs are badly swollen. My mobility is impaired because if this oedema.

On Tuesday 2nd June 09, I fell in my home and had to be rescued by my kind next door neighbours. On the following evening my GP and her young colleague examined me in my home. They thought that it was likely that a blood clot could now be present and that another scan would be advisable. Consequently, an ambulance was requested to return me to the Northern General Hospital where I arrived at midnight, On the Friday 5th June, a registrar arranged for a heart scan to be done but he did not seem to be concerned about a scan for a lurking blood clot elsewhere. Later that day I asked the ward sister if there was any news of the important scan. She apologised and said that I had not been listed. Unfortunately, she added, “nothing could be done now as everyone, including the doctors had gone home for the weekend.” The consultant saw me the Monday after and he too thought that a clot was present in the left limb but he could not proceed further until a scan proved positive or negative.

Then on the Wednesday, a physiotherapist came to tell me that she would be seeing me that afternoon to advise me about exercises and some loose shoes which be more comfortable for my swollen feet. Later that day she returned to tell me that my appointment had been postponed and another date would be arranged. During the morning of Sunday 14th, I was unexpectedly summoned to the x-ray department where a new weekend shift had started. I was fortunate to be chosen. The scan proved to be negative. The consultant saw me the next day and cleared me fit to go home and I returned home by ambulance on the Tuesday.

I hope that you ca see that there appears to have been little exchange of information between concerned departments, x-ray and scanning, physiotherapy and the consultant’s requirement for a single item of vital information. Similarly, there was scarcely any information tot eh ward staff, which they could pass onto me personally.


Referral of a gp appointment

i went to my local doctors and they sent me to northern general hospital because my gp thought i could have a blood clot in my leg after my recent operation. I had suffered a delayed miscarriage and had to have a evacuation of the uterus.

i got at the hospital at 4pm and was seen straight away by the nurse and she sent me straight through to the clinical descions unit. when i got there i had bloods, my temp, blood pressure and pulse taken. they said i would get my results in one and a half hours. i thought was not bad waiting time at all.

At 5.30pm i had to have a heart machine on as my pulse was high they had to make sure eveything was ok. when the nurse in charge of me went at 6.30pm she said me results would me here in the next half hour so they should be ready at about 7.15pm. The time came and went and i was still waiting at half 8. other people got seen to and i was still waiting there when my partenr went to the desk and asked if my results were in they kept saying the doctor is on is way down. then a support worker came and wrote my name down and said she was putting a complaint in herself because it was not fair on me or them. so at 9pm the doctor came and said my blood results came back low for a blood clot. i was allowed to go home. i got good care apart from being told different stories 3 times about why my results were not in or why the doctor wasn’t coming. then i found out from a nurse whispering to another that they did not even write my name down at the hand over so basically they must have thought i was just a vistor .