Passing the Buck

Well, where do I start? Back in March, I had a rather scary experience and wound up in resus and almost in ITU because of my asthma. The worst part was that the paramedic who came to me was so complacent and she didn't do anything at all to try and help me. Luckily the doctors at a+e were quick on the uptake and after an ABG that showed my Po2 had dropped to almost half what it should have been (got the immortal ""your sats were fine"" but they weren't actually checking properly before I got to hospital) and I was generally not a well person. The doctor was angry because it could have been avoided had the paramedic done her job. I had complained and just got my result letter.

They completely ignored the information from the hospital (including an EDS and a+e paperwork) and said that the paramedic didn't act out of line. I feel completely shaken. Surely they should have known right away? I mean, I must have really been bad that my blood chemistry was being affected. I guess I just wanted some answers and an apology. I think the thing that really bothered me was they tried to make out that it was the staff in a+e's fault, despite them being the ones who saved my life.

8 Replies

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  • Oh no, what an awful, frustrating and scary experience. The paramedic experience sounds a nightmare, but at least resus got you sorted thankfully!!

    Is there an appeals procedure about this? Can you write again? Totally understand your frustration at medical evidence not being properly taken into account and the wring people being blamed!!

    Are you ok now?

    Hugs! Laura x

  • Oh no, what an awful, frustrating and scary experience. The paramedic experience sounds a nightmare, but at least resus got you sorted thankfully!!

    Is there an appeals procedure about this? Can you write again? Totally understand your frustration at medical evidence not being properly taken into account and the wring people being blamed!!

    Are you ok now?

    Hugs! Laura x

    Thanks Laura, I'm still a bit rotten but I had an infection that refused to leave me be for a while. I think I am still just a bit shaken by the whole thing and it calls in to question, Who do you ask for help when the people who are supposed to care couldn't care less?

  • Hiya,

    I completely know where you are coming from with your experience. I, too, had a severe attack whilst I was at work. My colleagues knew to get my portable nebuliser and I was started on that while the ambulance was called. When the paramedics arrived, I was basically told I was having a panic attack (even though my colleagues were telling them what was actually wrong and knew it was getting serious) and they stopped the nebuliser and instructed me to ""count to ten and calm down"" - not the easiest thing when your lungs are refusing to co-operate! Like you, I was in a bad way when I got to the hospital but the doctors soon realised what was happening - but I still ended up staying in ITU.

    I didn't put in an official complaint (though I felt like I maybe should). It frustrates me so much that just because I don't wheeze (I had a silent chest at the time of the attack), people think it's obviously not asthma.

    I can't really offer much in the way of support other than to stress the fact that you are not alone in this. I strongly believe that asthma - especially in people who don't have the ""textbook symptoms"" - is very misunderstood in how severe it can become in a short space of time.

    Chukk

  • Aww, I am soo sorry you are going through such a horrible time, just seen your other post too! Hugs!

    Do you have a good/supportive GP - could you perhaps discuss this with them, because they would have obviously been concerned about how bad you flare up was in March, and could perhaps offer advice about the route forwards?

    Asthma attacks are horrible enough, without those who should be caring for you not doing so (can talk from experience while being admitted unfortunately)! Incidentally, why did they even take you to hosp if you ""weren't that bad""? Sounds a bit odd to me!

    Laura x

  • Aww, I am soo sorry you are going through such a horrible time, just seen your other post too! Hugs!

    Do you have a good/supportive GP - could you perhaps discuss this with them, because they would have obviously been concerned about how bad you flare up was in March, and could perhaps offer advice about the route forwards?

    Asthma attacks are horrible enough, without those who should be caring for you not doing so (can talk from experience while being admitted unfortunately)! Incidentally, why did they even take you to hosp if you ""weren't that bad""? Sounds a bit odd to me!

    Laura x

    They took me in the car in the end, but I had to pretty much beg for them to do so. I spoke to my GP and he was disgusted by the whole thing, when I started crying he took my hand and said that it was alright. Its not been an easy ride and the whole dental thing is kind of getting to me, but I just try and stay positive really and keep reminding myself that I am still here and that I didn't do anything wrong. It was like they were accusing me of lying about it. Paramedics really need to be trained properly.

  • This makes me so mad!! you should not have to beg for the emergency treatment you need. These people need to understand that asthma can be fatal, that people often don't follow the nice standard pattern and that people know their own needs in that sort of situation!!

    Hope you feel better soon!!

    Laura x

  • Hoping you feel better soon!

    The ""its just stress"" thing is very frustrating. If they actually thought what that meant, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but they don't. If someone really is stressed out or panicing they are in emotional pain. Pain deserves compassion, not judgement, regardless of its source: neuro-chemical, painful life events, or physical.

    So sorry, you were not trreated as you should be. Very glad to hear you are lodging complaints and trying to get people to take responsibility. Even if it doesn't work out as you hope, I think the effort to complain is important. Without the effort even a small chance to make a difference turns into a zero chance. Not everyone does make the effort which is completely understandable given how frustrating it can be.  i think you deserve to give yourself a huge pat on the back for putting up with the frustration and following through on this.

  • Thank you everyone for your kind replies.

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