Had a bad attack yesterday and my daughter, a nurse (now community, formerly A&E staff nurse) took me to A&E at 11:30 am. I’m a retired nurse
Although I’ve been asthmatic from childhood, it’s usually well managed and this is only the third bad attack that’s needed hospital treatment and the first time I haven’t been treated really quickly.
A&E was very busy and stretched to the limit. J appreciate that. After an age, I was triaged. My SATS were good but BP much higher. However, they put me back in the waiting room for hours and left me. All the while I felt worse and worse, kept trying to get nurses’ attention saying ‘I’m asthmatic and can’t breathe’ but mostly I was ignored. My daughter kept trying too. One nurse told me that because I could speak in sentences and ‘looked pink’ I could wait.
Eventually I was taken through to a doctor, given a nebuliser with Ventolin and a handful of steroid pills, then x-rayed.
Finally got out of there but it wasn’t until about 9pm at home that chest started to feel easier. Nightmare. Throughout it all I felt that nobody took me seriously. It must have been obvious that I was in distress.
I’m not an asthmatic who wheezes, although when the doctor finally examined me she said she could hear wheezing with the stethoscope.
I do realise that good SATS would perhaps indicate the triage nurse to believe that as I wasn’t in immediate danger so could be sent back to the waiting room for a few more hours but the distress of struggling to breathe wasn’t taken into account.
One of the worst experiences of my life.
Does this happen often?