Chronic pain patients and A&E waiting times

A couple of days ago I read this blog from Spoons, Sailing, CRPS & Penguins, Eleven hours in A&E – http://wp.me/p5nScR-jf
Today I have seen in our local paper that our local hospital has cancelled non emergency surgeries due to a “significant internal incident” and they have said this is due to an influx of visitors to A&E over the bank holiday weekend, hospital officials have warned that A&E is under significant pressure, and have said that patients should only attend if they are ‘critically injured or seriously unwell’ and brace themselves for long waits.

This weekend I managed to seriously injure my right knee, I was bumshuffling along the grass as I weeded the flower border using my arms and right leg when the knee went, I then had to get from the garden up the steps and into the lounge get as it’s not wheelchair accessible and it has been damn painful ever since.
My family have been telling me that I need to go and get it checked out, its my good (ish) knee and so its making life even more difficult and its significantly adding to the pain. I won’t go because I don’t think it’s an emergency, although it’s an accident and also isn’t be able to handle sitting in the waiting room for hours on end.

So this started me thinking about how chronic pain patients are treated in A&E, the majority of us will end up in massive amounts of pain if we are left sat waiting for hours on end, but do the doctors who run the department realise this or is there just nothing that can be done?

Now obviously they can’t start setting up beds for us in the waiting room and trolleys in A&E are limited, so what is the answer?

4 thoughts on “Chronic pain patients and A&E waiting times”

  1. A&E were really not interested in my chronic pain conditions, only what was going on with the abdominal and chest pain which was new, well new-ish – I had had the pain for 5 days before going to the GP and being urgently referred to A&E. However, my A&E consultant started to listen when my husband told him that my 10 on the pain scale would be someone else’s 20 because I live in pain all the time and have learnt to block some of the pain. He was skeptical at this until he examined me and became very surprised as to how tender my stomach actually was. He was also shocked that I had continued to attend work in such pain. I think it was from this conversation that lead him to leave me sat in A&E on a *blood chair than have me return to the hard chairs in the waiting room; and later lead him to find me a bed on the short stay ward whilst waiting for test results.

    *blood chair – softer feeling high backed chair with arms that they sit you in to take your blood – they had a line of three of them set up like a waiting area inside the A&E department.

    Oh and the influx of visitors to your local A&E probably included similar to what I heard in A&E last Thursday –

    Girl with sore throat – couldn’t wait to go to GP in morning because they were going on holiday that night!

    Man with water infection that GP had prescribed something for in the morning, because it was not instantaneous at clearing the problem – person attended A&E!

    Have you been about your knee yet? You need to get it seen to sooner rather than later, you don’t need something else to add to your pain levels.

    1. No I haven’t, I injured it a couple of months ago and I know it needs arthroscopic procedure or other but I am really hesitant to have anything done. Last year I tore my hamstring trying to get from floor to wheelchair, it was agony but I resisted getting it checked because I hate hospitals.

  2. Sorry to hear about an injury causing further pain- can you go to a local minor injury unit to get your knee looked at?

Leave a Reply