Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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Amazing Eastbourne Hospital; a Day in A&E.

I woke Hubby John at 5.30am and told him that he had to take me to the hospital.

For the past few days I’d been vomiting badly. My insides were agony and I felt really ill.

No, I wasn’t going to carry a sickness bug into the hospital. I’d had an operation to stretch my gut as it had narrowed, and the op was obviously reversing.

We arrived at the hospital at 8am. The A&E waiting area (Accidents & Emergencies) was nearly half full.

Checking in was easy as they had my details on record.

Our hospitals have a method called Triage. The term “triage” means sorting out. Medically, it’s a process used to prioritise who needs emergency medical attention first, whether injured or sick people or disaster survivors. Patients are triaged or prioritised according to their need for emergency care.

Several small rooms are next to the waiting area and I was called into one within 10 minutes.

They asked me what was wrong while checking my temperature and blood pressure. Then it was back to the waiting area.

After another 10 minutes I was called into another room where samples of my blood were taken and then back to the waiting area, where I read, horrified, on a screen that waiting times were up to 11 hours!

Hubby John said, ‘Shall we give up and go home?’ But I said, ‘No, I feel too ill’.

Eastbourne Helicopter Landing Pad

People began talking. One young lad said he’d got some metal in his eye, but he’d been waiting for treatment since 8 o’clock the night before.

When he was finally called in, everyone applauded!

Two men wearing  jackets which said Continental Security walked along the corridor. Then one of them looked in the Gents’ loo and, with worried glances to left and right, dashed along the corridor. They’d obviously lost someone.

A couple of big, burly policemen walked in front of and behind what was obviously a prisoner. He really looked the part; shapeless tracksuit, slightly bent over with a lived-in face. When he went into the Gents, the policeman stood on guard outside.

I noticed a young skinny girl walking jerkily up and down. She wore an old grey track suit with the hood up, covering her face.

When Hubby John went outside to send a text, she was there between two security guards.

‘Why am I out here?’ she whined. ‘Because you’ve been insulting the staff,’ one of them replied.

I shudder to imagine what the hospital staff have to put up with, day after day!

After about an hour I was called into another room, where I was asked again what was wrong.

About another 15 minutes passed, then I was escorted round the corner to a ward where a cannula was fixed into the back of my hand to allow liquids to flow into my blood stream.

I was fixed up to a drip as I was apparently very dehydrated, then at the same time I was given in order an anti-sickness drug, pain killer, liquid Paracetamol and anti-inflammatory for my gut.

In between all this, while I sat there with the drip, a male nurse took my blood pressure, putting the results on a mobile phone. They use mobile phones a lot now to record results.

A doctor appeared round the corner. She’d been reading my notes and she said she was putting me in for another op as soon as possible.

Then a man with a trolley came along, dishing out tea, coffee and sandwiches.

‘What kind of sandwiches have you got?’ I asked. He reeled off half a dozen different fillings.

I decided to pass on the sandwich in case I couldn’t keep it down. But the tea went down well – all part of the free NHS service.

Back came the male nurse to re-check my blood pressure and change the drug going into my blood system.

An orderly was next. He had a packet of anti-sickness tablets for me and a prescription for my insides.

The drip was finished, and after a final check of my blood pressure, I was allowed to go home.

All this took about six hours, from start to finish.

My opinion? Our NHS service is absolutely wonderful. Even when you think they’ve forgotten about you while you wait, someone behind the scenes is monitoring your progress.

It really is a brilliant, unique system. How it works so well under all the strain it’s put under I don’t understand. But we should be very proud of it and give it all the care that it gives to us.

It must cost a huge fortune, just for the daily waste alone! I watched so many things being binned after a short use; plastic aprons, gloves galore, hypodermic needles and trays – tons of uncycled rubbish.

I also saw many different Nationalities, all working side by side to save lives and protect our health, without a Political disagreement amongst them.

If only life everywhere in the world was like that!