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  1. #1
    Sync Sync is offline
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    Man with Down's syndrome left "screaming in pain for hours" in a&e

    Relatives begged for morphine as brother died - Independent.ie

    Just a harrowing story from the coroners court yesterday. A man with Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's, pneumonia and who was in pain from a recent hernia operation (and subsequent infection) was left screaming for hours in a&e as staff miscommunications resulted in him not getting morphine.

    The family asked medics to give Mr Wright morphine, but were told he could be given pain relief or antibiotics but not both, she said. They asked that he be given pain relief and were told the palliative care team would see him, she added.

    Pethidine was administered to no effect. The family requested again he be given morphine.

    Consultant Dr Diarmuid Smith, who oversaw the admission, said when the pethidine did not work the case was discussed with the palliative care team who advised Mr Wright be given an anti-anxiety medication and if this did not work he could be given morphine.

    Dr Smith said: "It should have been relayed to the family. That is possibly a reflection of the pressures and strains and I apologise."
    Now....I think we all understand how communication errors can happen. And the coroners recommendation of new processes and controls is right and proper. But the guy is screaming in pain for hours,how could no one have double checked to see if he was allowed a serious pain killer?

    The entire thing of course highlights the nightmare scenario for people caring for those with special needs, where they experience pain and either can't understand it or can't express it.
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  2. #2
    Eire1976 Eire1976 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    Relatives begged for morphine as brother died - Independent.ie

    Just a harrowing story from the coroners court yesterday. A man with Down's syndrome, Alzheimer's, pneumonia and who was in pain from a recent hernia operation (and subsequent infection) was left screaming for hours in a&e as staff miscommunications resulted in him not getting morphine.



    Now....I think we all understand how communication errors can happen. And the coroners recommendation of new processes and controls is right and proper. But the guy is screaming in pain for hours,how could no one have double checked to see if he was allowed a serious pain killer?

    The entire thing of course highlights the nightmare scenario for people caring for those with special needs, where they experience pain and either can't understand it or can't express it.
    The main problem is that medical staff are so de-sensitised to peoples problems that they are willing to let someone roar in pain for hours.

    Anyone with any feelings would have given the poor man something to knock him out.
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  3. #3
    firefly123 firefly123 is online now
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    The ED is not a place for one to one care or attention. It's triage,then wait and depending on how busy it is you might wait hours or days. This past week Beaumont is insanely busy with patients on trolleys piled side by side right up to the door. It is hot and smelly with no privacy for most patients. Occasionally we bring in a patient with communication issues and they just lie there screaming all night with maybe a curtain to shield them from the 80 other patients.
    The waiting room in James is where we wheel our patients in. They have a wonderful system where there are three triage doors but only one triage nurse so you knock on all three doors and wait hoping someone might be behind one of them. Then you hand over all you patients personal information in front of the audience inter waiting room.

    In the mater we have a lovely new ED where they forgot that ambulances come in so we wheel the patients into a corridor and wait at a door called the 'rapid assessment' door for an age. Unfortunately this door is right beside the automatic doors for the outside so every 30 seconds and blast of cold air hits the patients.


    Are you getting the picture yet ? The ED is the red headed stepchild of the hospital.
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  4. #4
    firefly123 firefly123 is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eire1976 View Post
    The main problem is that medical staff are so de-sensitised to peoples problems that they are willing to let someone roar in pain for hours.

    Anyone with any feelings would have given the poor man something to knock him out.
    Not true. Patients like this can roar for many reasons not just pain and we don't just knock people out to keep the quiet anymore
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  5. #5
    Eire1976 Eire1976 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefly123 View Post
    Not true. Patients like this can roar for many reasons not just pain and we don't just knock people out to keep the quiet anymore
    I was commenting on this case, where it would have been clear to any investigating doctor what the issue might have been.
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  6. #6
    NewGoldDream NewGoldDream is online now
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    The posters like Sidey and Flav who like to talk about "drooling mongs" might push for this to go into humour.
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  7. #7
    Clanrickard Clanrickard is offline
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    A and E would not be as busy if people with minor problems were turn ed away and told to go to a doctor. In other countries you cannot go to A & E unless brought by an ambulance or referred by a doctor.
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  8. #8
    firefly123 firefly123 is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    A and E would not be as busy if people with minor problems were turn ed away and told to go to a doctor. In other countries you cannot go to A & E unless brought by an ambulance or referred by a doctor.
    You'd have more ambulance patients then. We can't refuse anyone on the ambulance even obvious time wasters. I don't understand why people go near the ED unless their bloody arm is hanging off because they are feckin hellholes.
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  9. #9
    stopdoingstuff stopdoingstuff is offline
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    I screamed the last time I had to pay a consultant.
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  10. #10
    Eire1976 Eire1976 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    A and E would not be as busy if people with minor problems were turn ed away and told to go to a doctor. In other countries you cannot go to A & E unless brought by an ambulance or referred by a doctor.
    Very true, I had to go to the A&E in King's Hospital in South London once with my youngest and it was full of people with very minor cuts and issues that certainly weren't emergency.

    They had a nurse there who saw people in turn and was used to determine if a genuine emergency or not.

    These time wasters were still seen but only when more important cases had been dealt with.
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