Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The End of a Truly Hard Day

Ewan wheezes almost every time he catches a cold/ virus. It's been that way for at least 2 years, although his first salbutamol inhaler was when he was 10 months old.

I know how he gets when he really needs hospital-level care. yesterday, he progressed from mild wheeze to really-quite-bad in the slace of an afterboon. It's when he stops eating that is the biggest giveaway.

Anyway, he was admitted and given great, compassionate and friendly care as well as the right treatment and doses of inhalers for him. This was lovely to receive, seeing that his care was paramount, even to the point where I just knew that being admitted onto the childrens' ward was the only option.

The issue came when we wanted to leave, I mean, no wonder the NHS is struggling for money. Anyway, ignoring all the politics, this is actually what happened.

0915 Ewan needed his inhaler an hour earlier than the 4 hour plan. I told the nurse that it was needed, he was reviewed by a Dr and I gave him his inhaler.

1040-ish Ward round by 2 doctors (the more senior was a registrar, with another taking notes). I was told that he had to manage 4 hours and then that we would be home for tea time.

1315 ewan easily made 4 hour gap since last dose of inhaler. Pointed it out to the nurse in charge of him, and said that I wanted to go home shortly. She didn't contradict me.

1500 Ewan's obs were measured and recorded by a HCA. I asked her if she could enquire about the impending discharge. I asked her again when she returned 5 minutes later. She said she would ask for me.

1615 I decided that I had had enough of the waiting. I asked a nurse at the desk and she pointed out that ewan wasn't on the pharmacy list and shrugged me away. A few minutes later, the nurse caring for Ewan said that the doctor had written that they would review E during the teatime ward round. It was 1630 by this point. Ewan was running around like a giddy 4 year old. He was a little wheezy but not struggling. I packed our things and said that of a doctor was unable to see us within 5 minutes, that we would be leaving.

I impressed upon the nurse how confident and competent I am at managing ewan at home , and detailed why home was the best place for him to recover. I was so angry, I was probably horrible but I needed to protect my family. I sympathised with her and didn't point the finger. However, not letting well patients go home is not acceptable. It is not acceptable to plan to discharge a 4 year after tea, when you were told 'by tea'.

I was shaking with frustration. A doctor listened to his chest and said he could go. I would never put him at risk, I have all of the inhaler meds he needs and he isn't due steroids until tomorrow lunchtime. So I can collect those tomorrow, and help him recuperate in his own bed, with suitable food that is nutritious and safe for him to eat (the dairy free options for small children are woeful).

Needless to say, he is pumped up on steroids, and can't sleep but at least we are home.


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