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.

KateH

My daughters experience in the A & E Department

Last week my daughter suffered terribly at the hands of a doctor in the A & E Department who refused to give her Entonox when she had four 6/7inch lacerations to the top of her left leg. She has always been given Entonox as her injuries where usually very bad and needed stitching as a result of her self-harming.

After seeing the triage nurse, I asked if she could have Entonox to help her manage the pain as this was what she was usually given. We were asked to wait in the reception area for a minute while she went to the minor’s area, I presumed she was going to get her seen. When nothing happened for about 20 minutes and my daughter started crying. I went to the minors department to ask for help as my daughter was in incredible pain.

She was offered two paracetamol for the pain and told she would just have to wait. My daughter was just left with no idea of how long she would have to wait or cope with such incredible pain. After a while I went back to the minors department and complained. It was only then that I was told that it was under the direct instructions of a particular doctor that my daughter was not to be given Entonox. I was disgusted and asked to speak with the doctor. I then went on to try and explain to the doctor that she needed to have the Enotonx to help her cope with the pain and that she had it every time she had such injuries it was about six weeks since she last had it. I could not understand why the doctor was refusing to give her the Entonox when they had not even examined her.

I didn’t get any answers from the doctor who just argued with me then said they’d had had enough and just walked out of the room. I felt the doctor was awful,very patronising and very argumentative. Having to argue with a doctor to try and get help whilst my daughter was just left alone in the waiting area crying in pain in front of everyone. It is a disgrace! ! I have complained about this particular doctor in June last year as I think they have a problem with people who self-harm. It is totally unacceptable to be treated this way.

I insisted that my daughter was seen by a consultant and eventually after suffering for nearly two hours she was given the Entonox. She was also was given Tramadol/Diclofenic and Paracetamol. She then had 40 stitches in her leg. I have filed another complaint with regards to the doctor’s conduct with the Patient Relations Department. If we could possibly avoid going to the A & E Department we would. It is unacceptable to be treated this way.

Another Concerned Parent

Swollen calf and pain in leg

Last month on Friday I contacted Harmoni regarding a swollen leg and it was painful to walk. I went through a series of questions. I was given an appointment 2 hours later that evening (approximately 8: 30 pm). I was seen an hour late by the Doctor who was very helpful and kind and advised that he thought I had DVT. I was told that I had to register again with A&E and I wasted another few hours waiting to be seen by an A&E doctor who arranged for a blood test that night.

Due to high protein level and inflammation level I was not discharged and stayed in A&E the whole night as there wasn’t a bed available and I was admitted to a Ward at 5am and given Fragmin.

I stayed in hospital for 6 days and had a Doppler scan on the Monday which showed 3 clots under my knee.

I feel that Harmoni should have advised me to go to A&E rather than see the Doctor at Harmoni. Waiting for about 6 hours to see a Doctor, the clot could have moved elsewhere for example to my lungs or heart. I think they should perhaps give Fragmin to all suspected DVT cases on arrival at hospital. Why wait for a few hours?

It was the weekend and a scan could not be arranged until Monday. My case was a bit difficult as I was suffering from excessive bleeding due to heavy periods. But this could have been serious and I feel Fragmin should have been given earlier and they have to weigh the risks.

I hope they can learn something from my case for the future.

KateM

Not enough walking at Bolton Hospital

Someone in my care recently visited Bolton Hospital for an inflammation of his knee, and stayed on wards C1 D1 A4 and N3. The standard of medical care was alright, but it would have been better if they had encouraged him to keep walking to keep his legs going. I would like to thank all the nurses in every ward on which he stayed.

LEFP003

Very good care at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

I was a patient at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary last month for a biopsy on my leg. The standard of care I received, from both the medical and the nursing staff, was very good. Information and decision making was shared with me appropriately and, at all times, I was treated with the greatest amount of dignity and respect.

Crafty16

Chronology of Orthopaedic/Plastic surgery care following serious accident

Whilst this incident dates back a couple of years, my motives – far from vengeful, as these doctors have been outstanding in their skill – stem from a desire to share what may be a “hidden rot”, and so prompt changes for the care of future patients like me.

I am a professional man of Afro-Caribbean origin in my mid-30s, who sadly concludes race and racial preconceptions contributed to the manner in which medical staff decided to approach my care, in what was my first true experience as a patient. Disturbing, clearly endemic, and seemingly a “wilful oversight” at this hospital, my overall impression was that far too many seriously unacceptable incidents occurred during a patients stay here, with most either too: old, vulnerable, dependent, or just plain “proud” to raise complaint.

NURSES & THERAPISTS

July 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

My “baptism-of-fire” was with an at first unfriendly, and openly suspicious night-nurse – who eventually just came right out and asked whether I had been fighting?

July 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

Incredibly hostile, she came on shift visibly seething. Due to my vulnerability, and pain-based high overnight dependency, worried I asked her shift colleague if she could attend to me instead. I later witnessed her explode at a patient who was just trying to calmly explain his pre-admission medication, an observed 5 minute tirade.

July/August 2006 Nurses (Ward)

A completely bodged ward closure-and-transfer whilst in-surgery, saw all my belongings including a portable TV and fan, misplaced. On my return to the SHD (Surgical High Dependency) unit it was only the visitation of relatives and the invention on our behalf, of a ward manager, that my belongings were recovered. An apparent firm chat with less-than cooperative ward staff found these items relegated to a side room, with fan in use elsewhere. Amazingly in front of both, relatives and I, a disagreement also ensued between this manager and a pony-tailed nurse who, quite arrogant her in manner, seemed to imply it was I that was at fault.

August 2006 Female Nurse (SHD unit)

Following transfer to this unit, I was left in severe pain with sleepless nights. I was one of two patients attended to by this nurse, another two by another nurse on the ward’s far side. From the start, my nurses attitude toward me was one of reluctance and apathy, this in strong contrast to her other charge. She made me feel reluctant to ask for the simplest of assistance by her uncaring attitude, and toward the end of my stay, literally just began wondering off the ward actually when I had requested help, for 10-15 minutes at a time. I rarely requested her help, but unable to stand anymore began requesting the help of the other nurse who, though very busy, was exceptional in her care of me. I would seriously go as far as to actually question the appointed nurses suitability for this post.

August 2006 Female Agency Nurse (Ward)

From the moment she came on duty she seemed to take great exception to me by her attitude, this though we had never met. Any request for assistance was met by an unashamed reluctance to help me in a short, rude and abrupt manner of communication, vague treatment, or as on most occasions by just completely ignoring me. I actually began to think she hated me, as she openly showed the polar opposite manner to all other patients. There was only the exception of an African lady patient, who was to later report to me experience of the same behaviour. She duly cited colour prejudice as a suspicion, she and I incidentally being the only non-white patients on this full ward. From my experience, I can only say it seemed a plausible possibility.

August 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

Shortly after a very emotional visit by my mother and co, this nurse had the nerve to – whilst helping me onto a Zimmer-frame with another colleague – patronisingly repeat the words: “So you a mummy’s boy init!” in this unprofessional “street-style” manner, that she perhaps thought I might be receptive too. I looked in disbelief at the colleague who just remained quiet, before enlightening her that I was unashamed of displaying affection for my mother – livid this should even need explaining to a nurse.

August 2006 Female Physiotherapist

In stark contrast to her colleagues, I found this young lady’s behaviour toward me quite arrogant and rude. She seemed unable to grasp I could not do more than my pain permitted, one occasion persisting discourteously in a petty disagreement in front of all my relatives. She even sent me down to the Ophthalmic Clinic with out assistance to help me into/out-of my wheelchair, later blaming what became an awkward incident on me.

August 2006 Female Nurse (Ward) / October 2006 Female Nurse (Clinic)

Contrary to guidance offered in their ‘Information for in-patients’ booklet, I was astonished on the two occasions when I politely brought the issue of hand-hygiene to nurses. Once, having witnessed substantially handled bay-curtains prior to my treatment, the other witnessing my wound-dressing repeatedly interrupted to answer door-knocks – opening and closing an office door. In response, I was angrily snapped back at, throughout which all I could do was to attempt to reason and explain my concerns to calm the situation down. I would strongly suggest that all admissions, including emergencies and transferrals, are issued this booklet on arrival, as I was not.

January 2007 Female Nurse (Ward)

A later follow-on overnight-admission landed me in care of a night-nurse who presented incredibly rudely on the only two occasions of contact.

The first, having settled down sleep following a ‘lights-out’ call by nurses, I was awoken by this nurse at about 11pm, walking over to my bed announcing loudly and rudely “OK boy!” before brusquely attaching ‘ID wrist-bands’. I felt embarrassed, then insulted, as I noticed her soon after approaching two other patients, more calmly, and with the words “All right my dear”. Too tired, I just tried to get back to sleep, but was again awoken at 3am in exactly the same “OK boy!” manner, this time with the overhead lamp direct switched-on right into my face and accompanying the words “Canula, Canula”. I looked round dazed and in disbelief at this woman’s behaviour, so abrupt it had awoken the patient next to me, though before I knew it she had grabbed my left hand and proceeded to apply an excruciating painful and long needle in preparation for a drip. I was astounded by what I was experiencing, something akin to a prison camp, though as if not insult enough, when the awoken patient enquired as to why I required this and not him, she had the absolute nerve – mid-application – to turn round and tell him it was because he was in better health than me, before chuckling to herself. On the contrary, the drip-necessity was purely due to an earlier potentially fatal ‘pulmonary embolism’, prior to which I was in exceptional health. But for my vulnerability, I can assure I would not usually tolerate such indignity.

TRANSPORT STAFF

As a long-distance hospital-transport-dependant patient, I was for a short period dependant on this hospital’s own patient transport service.

October 2006

Right outside my mother’s home and in front of my mother, regarding a chat about my deciding whether to take with me warmer clothing, the driver commented out loud: “You know what us black people are like…”

October 2006

Again, this time at our doorstep and in front of my mother, regarding a prior request for a car (not van) due to rear passenger-seat comfort of injured leg, the driver comments to me a number of times and at volume, “What d’you think you are, posh or somethin?” On this occasion I was pushed to answer back with an explanation with some anger. The same driver also swore at volume with complete disregard, into his phone all the way down the M4 motorway.

November 2006

This decisively “Mute” driver displayed the most frightening erratic and dangerous driving all the way down the motorway and into London. At one point we were ‘driver-side wheels in the corrugated central-reservation border’ at around 70mph, not to mention brake slamming in the urban areas, which on one occasion literally sent me flying.

January 2007

This rude and arrogant driver in a calm discussion as to which routes ahead seemed clearer, out-of-nowhere asked me if I would like to get out and walk, snapping I could go one way, and he’d go the other. I refrained from any further conversation with him after this. He later kept asking me to do the window up, though when I explained to him that I felt sick, reminding him of his duty to care and deal with such incidents should they occur, was again snapped at, this time warning me not to be sick as I was a ‘transferable’ patient anyway, whatever this meant.

ORTHOPEADIC & PLASTICS – DOCTORS & CONSULTANTS

As mentioned, criticism of this Orthopaedic and Plastics team has always been grounded in some dilemma as surgically – the skill of these doctors has been nothing short of exceptional. Alas, entirely unnecessarily this has too often contrasted sharply with their ‘bedside’ manner, and as such feel duty bound to highlight experiences on behalf of the less vocal.

July 2006

On initial transfer to Charing Cross, I recall feeling what can only be described as a feeling of contempt from this group. Visiting consultants just stared at me as if I was inhuman or a ghost. A stone-faced female plastics consultant or registrar throughout came across as abrupt and unfriendly, to the point of being unusual. As strange as it may sound, I actually felt as if I was being judged on my accident.

In particular, I vividly recall my experience of a prolonged panic-attack brought on by breathing and cooling issues, consequent of a Pulmonary Embolism. In this enduring memory, I recall these doctors and nurses just stood round my bed throughout, staring at me as if in disgust or as if some sought of weirdo – a picture I will never forget…

August 2006

During my stay, sympathy was felt for a concerned doctor who had accidentally pricked herself with a needle she had used on me. Whilst happy to compliantly answer an apparently routine health questionnaire in relation to the incident, I was alarmed and shocked to be asked questions basically inferring I could be homosexual. At the time whilst vulnerable and dependant I still genuinely wanted to help, but some time after leaving felt quite offended, even violated that I had been cornered this way.

October 2006

Months later, I was to attend my first fracture clinic as an outpatient. Here a simple enquiry as to how long they would expect to retain an excruciatingly painful piece of metallic, surgical apparatus through my right leg was unbelievably insensitive.

I was abruptly and coldly just told as long as possible, as otherwise my leg could break again leading to amputation – though this, rather than stated, instead comically indicated with a finger-knife action across my leg and, believe it or not – a whistle!

November 2006-January 2007

Successive attendances as an outpatient had felt akin to a cattle market, with all the staff friendliness and dignity to match, though the final straw arrived for me on attendance of my “decidedly” final – March 2007 clinic.

March 2007

Following the usual wait plus an additional hours wait alone in an assessment room, an attempt to ask a number of predetermined ‘Quality-of-life’ questions, actually quite dear to me, was again slighted. I was just made to feel hurried and my questions trivialised, and this from a consultant I had until then held head-above-the-rest. To my anger he commented that we guys always wanted more, as if not individuals but one homogenous group, before eventually just walking out citing urgency of schedule.

Summary

Throughout my stay and after first being told I might not make it, I lost count of the numerous times (well into double figures I kid you not) the mantra “You could lose your leg” was repeated by these doctors, practically drummed into me to the point I literally had to blot it out to steady both morale and sanity. This of course continued into outpatient status, even adding that at any other hospital I would have probably lost my leg, then citing an envisaged femur surgical-correction as a “loss” potential.

Their policy, at least verbally, was one of astonishingly cold, matter-of-fact negativity toward my recovery, one consultant telling me – I will likely “never” bend my leg again, another – I will “never” recover sensation following an under-arm operation, “never” this, “never” that, “never, never, never” – all of which I have proved wrong.

I also felt the success of the operation seemed to oddly remove any right for me to question or query issues concerning my own body – as if I should just be thankful.

I am not naïve in recognising a perhaps litigious wary “prepare-a-patient-for-the-worst” thinking behind their approach, though it is one thing to “air-on-the-side-of-caution”, and another to denigrate. I would like to think these people were glad of my recovery, though a more cynical me would ponder the thought of some power-driven attempt to further distress me. I even actually recall first, the look of anticipation, then surprise on a doctors face, my having showed no reaction to being told hopes of a then discharge were instead dashed. I genuinely can not understand why people, who I am sure deep down do want to save life and limb, feel it necessary to inhumanely convey such contortion, in such a disturbing and callous manner.

Cecil

Hospital missed a broken leg!

I took my son to the doctors as was concerned about his legs. he’s always held them up since he was born.the GP said take him to the hospital as heard a huge click and my son screemed so loud he didnt settle for ages.

as the doctor said i went to QEQM hospital to get it checked out. went to rainbow ward and the doctor said send him to have hip ultrasound for a clicky hip so we did.

it all came back ok but my son was still distressed and they said he will be fine and they will send him to physio, so i thought right ok went home.

he still wasnt happy at all but it seemed to pass so i belived the doctors that he was ok. a few days later my sons leg swelled up. I took him to A&E at QEQM and they said he had a broken leg and it had been done on the day i took him to QEQM but they didnt spot it.

from now on i am going to a diffrent hospital as i dont trust them anymore after that!!!

KatieJane

Why is my mam lying in poo?

My mother is currently in Ward 12 in Rake Lane hospital. She has a broken leg and suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. There has been a bug in the ward since Saturday and she seems to have had it since Tuesday. When we arrived for visiting on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday she has been lying in a bed of not very fresh poo. She has also been desperate for a drink, which she cannot get for herself. We have had to ask the very stretched nursing staff to clean her up and have taken our own water in and given it ourselves. Our family are beside themselves with worry (especially as our father is in ward 15 with heart problems – if he could see the state of our mam he would go berserk). We are looking to take whatever action we can to make sure she gets the help she needs otherwise we don’t expect to have her for much longer. I have read about Patient Advice & Liaison and will try that line of action tomorrow.

veryunhappy

My husband

My husband was taken to Derriford in late dec to A&E. Had an X-Ray on his left leg upper thigh and was admitted to a ward off A&E. He stayed for 3 days and then he came home. He hadnt had his bowels opened for 4 days and was being sick. The lady who gave out the meals told the staff he wasnt eating or drinking properly. They didnt give him any sickness pills or stuff to make him go to the toilet. So consequently in the early hours he was sick all over the bed. I had to strip the bedand turn the mattress on my own. I am 71 years old so not an easy task. I called in my G-P the next day who is excellent. He gave me all the things I needed, he also arrangedf or a Physio to come to our house. Her name is Michelle Langrishe who was a big help getting him back on his feet again. She works for Plymouth Community Healthcare at Cumberland Centre Devonport. My Dr address is Budshead Health Centre Whitleigh

jackjack

How do you say “thank you” and mean it?

I was admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital early last year, My heel had become necrotic due to failure of the blood supply to my left heel, I spent time on Ward A1, then moved to A2, Plastic Surgery, under the care of Miss Lees, she operated on me and I was informed in detail of every developmentl,( the good and the bad).and removed the gangrene which had developed.

The entire staff on A2 were terrific with their care and attention to me. I felt I was treated with respect and compassion, being reassured always by Miss Lees and her staff, as amputation of my leg was more than possible. After a few weeks I moved to ward A3,(vascular) I again received excellent treatment under the care of Mr Goshe, the nursing staff were fantastic with good humour and care ,always helpful, and always overworked, again I was in there for a few weeks, and returned to A2 Plastic surgery for another few weeks, with further operations.

I continued to have the same attention every minute of every day.I was discharged after twelve weeks.and have continued to have the close supervision of Miss Lees and Sister Byford and her staff on Problem Wounds. My leg is healing well. I will always be indebted to Miss Lees for her reassurance and expertise at times when my spirits were low. I had no previous experience of hospital, I am amazed at the skill and dedication of the staff on Wards A2 and A3, and of the Consultants Miss Lees and Mr Goshe, my care has been wonderful .

I have the greatest admiration of the hospital and the NHS. It is quite obvious, the expenditure cuts are taking the toll,with short staffing, but the dedication of the staff is outstanding, I witnessed it on many occasions, their breaks were forfeighted and they stayed after finishing time to complete paper work, but never to the detriment of the patients.

How do you say “Thank you” and mean it ??

Allenby