My husband was experiencing a painful sore throat though only on one side, and he did not have a fever. He gargled with salt water, yet 2 days later it was worse, causing much pain when he swallowed. We headed to a walk-in clinic as our family doctor is a 35-40 minute drive each way. From experience we know he cannot see us the same day. We arrived at the walk-in clinic around 9:30 am. Our wait was approximately one hour, the waiting area was very clean and staff was courteous. The doctor saw my husband, discussed his symptoms and took a swab of his throat for testing. He said it would take 24 hours for the results to come back. The doctor said the clinic would call him if they discovered something that needed treatment. He also advised us that recently some of his patients had been diagnosed with strep throat, and there was a virus circulating that caused symptoms that mirrored those of my husband.
July 1st, my husband woke at 5:30 am saying that his pain was even worse and asked if I could take him to the local hospital emergency department (ED). We arrived at the hospital parking lot around 6:30 am. It was our first visit to this hospital, as we recently moved to the area. We parked and headed to the ED entry at which time we began hearing from a loud speaker a voice welcoming us to the department. It then went on to advise us that staff were entitled to respect, and to use a mask provided just inside the revolving door; the message was on an endless loop.
Here's my suggestion: A live person’s voice recording would lend a “human” dimension to this communication.
The outside glass on either side of the revolving door as well as the revolving door, was dirty, finger marked and had a number of hand-made posters, poorly written/scrawled, hanging lop-sided, so one had to bend one’s neck to read them.
Here's my suggestion: Where are the environmental/maintenance folks? Cleanliness from the entry way to everywhere inside inspires confidence in patients, not to mention more respect. With computers and all types of materials to make signs and posters, the way in which patients are greeted with upon entry makes an impression.
Immediately inside, we took and put on the masks provided. There were a collection of wheelchairs scattered about this area, around which we had to navigate in search of the Triage Desk.
Here's my suggestion: having wheelchairs organized in a space away from patient traffic would pose less of a navigation hazard. A poorly hand-made sign pointed to the right, which we followed, then came upon a room on the right side which was the waiting room for Triage. No one was in the waiting room nor was anyone sitting at the Triage desk. If triage staff must be away from desk, please leave a sign advising walk-ins where to find a staff member; what if I could not have left my husband to look for someone? I told my husband to sit in the waiting room and I would go and find someone to help us. A minute or so later I saw a hospital staff member and advised her that we had just arrived and no one was at Triage. She said “go and wait in the waiting area and someone will come.”
Here's my suggestion: An apology, or saying something comforting like, “let me get the Triage staff for you right away" would have been appreciated. We sat. A couple of minutes later the Triage person arrived and took a seat behind the desk without looking at us. She then looked up, saw us and called out “next” for my husband to come to her desk.
Here's my suggestion: An acknowledgement by the Triage member was called for here; instead I perceived we interrupted something she was doing and we were an interference in her job. My husband and I both approached the Triage person sitting behind the desk, which was behind a glass panel that had a small circular opening in it. There was one dirty looking, black plastic chair in front of the Triage area for the patient.
Here are my suggestions: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a clean chair in a hospital. and nicer still, if the person accompanying the patient had a chair to sit on? This would make it easier for caregivers to converse with Triage if the patient needed help answering questions or providing information. Instead, that person, the patient’s wife in this case, had to bend down to speak through the opening and stay that way to hear the questions and provide information to assist the patient. My back and knees hurt after a while in a stooped position. The Triage person was expressionless and took my husband’s medical information without looking up from her computer.
I’m sure there was no malicious intent on the part of the Triage person; her behaviour however, loudly communicated she was unaware of the fact that two human beings were in front of her: a patient in much pain, unable to concentrate on providing her information she required to complete her job, and another person who was worried about her husband and also experiencing pain as a result of bending down to talk with Triage. Her people skills were nonexistent.
With the information taken and without looking up at us, she told us to “go down the hall to another waiting area, give this (materials) to the nurse at the station, and your husband’s name will be called.” Again, she could have used people skills saying something to the effect of, “thank you for your information, I’m giving you this paperwork which you will give to the nurse at the station in a seating area, just down the hall to your left. There you’ll wait for the doctor to see you."
Three people were waiting in this second area. Signs were posted all around us, advising that patients would be seen in order of priority, and to be respectful of staff or one could be asked to leave.
Here's my suggestion: Perhaps the signs could have been more people-oriented, instead of intimidating.
After an hour and a half my husband’s name was called and someone directed us by pointing the general direction to another wait area, there a doctor would see him. We waited there about one hour. The doctor was a welcomed relief - pleasant, the first staff member we’d met since arriving that seemed human, and he was the fourth staff person with whom we interacted. After interviewing my husband, the doctor advised they would do blood work and accompanied us to where to wait for a technician. (Great people skills.) We waited another hour, then the technician called my husband’s name. Blood taken, I asked the technician “approximately” about the wait time for results and was advised approximately one hour.
Here's my suggestion: The technician did not advise us how long the results would take, I had to ask him. He could have been more people-oriented as he's a medical professional and knows roughly how long these procedures typically take. We were sent back to the second waiting room to wait until my husband’s name was called over the loud speaker.
After about two hours, I approached a desk where three people were seated behind glass. As I approached, a young man stood up, not because he saw me coming, but to stand while he talked on the phone.
Here's my suggestion: His appearance was intimidating, as he was quite dishevelled – I didn’t want to talk to him but we were exhausted waiting. Once his phone call ended he looked at me expressionless and wordless. Intimidated by his appearance, eye contact and demeanor, I said as gently as I could “excuse me, my husband had blood work two hours ago and the technician said that it would take approximately one hour for the results. We’ve been here two hours and we haven’t heard his named called."
Assuming I was a terrific burden in his day, I adopted a more submissive, hesitant approach and said “excuse me, we were advised to wait but I’m wondering if we have been sitting in the wrong wait area and maybe missed hearing my husband’s name. The young man, expressionless, hardly looking at me, asked “what’s the name?” He entered my husband’s name into his computer from a standing position, muttered something, without looking at me, about results being back. He made a call and said to whomever picked up that my husband's results are back, and he’s waiting for results. The young man was in the middle of telling me to sit down and wait when my husband’s name was called over the PA.
In conclusion, we are never coming back to this ED, I don’t care how far we have to go. We headed back to the same area where we had seen the nicest person we encountered, the doctor, and sat to wait. Approximately 40 minutes later the doctor arrived to speak to us where we were seated. He said the blood results were fine, and if the sore throat persisted that he should gargle with salt water. We thanked him and left.
Checking the time expended in this visit to ED, it was 1:00 pm.- it had been six and a half hours since we first arrived. We paid the exorbitant parking fee and left. We should have called Telehealth Ontario and asked them to call all ED's to inquire to the shortest ED wait time. I have called Telehealth four times in the past and they have always told me to go to ED.
Here's my suggestion: Maybe patients and family caregivers should call the ED (or check on-line) to see what the average wait is before going to any ED, or perhaps walk-in clinics could remain open 24 hours a day.
I once burned my leg inside my thigh with a cup of boiling water. I was wearing corduroy slacks at the time and the burn was painful and severe; however, I refused to go to ED because of long wait times. Instead I treated myself at home and went to a walk-in clinic two days later when a blister had formed.... the wait time was an hour.
Follow-up from visiting our family doctor
This happened on July 3rd. Our family doctor can rarely see us the same day. We like him a lot and never will move or give him up for anything. He’s younger than we are, so we're hopeful he will see us to the grave. Plus, he’s hip to technology, great to talk with, demonstrates compassion, is knowledgeable, he answers our questions and always referred us to great specialists when needed. He referred my husband to an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist. His office had to make the appointment with this ENT for us, and informed us that they'd call us with a date. My husband’s sore throat started to subside somewhat, but we were both anxious to discover the problem. Our family doctor’s office called a week later, advising my husband can see him in mid-September! Our ED experiences have been lengthy waits, though not so 'people-unfriendly' for years. We’ve used ED services maybe five times in the last 15 years. Hopefully, things will improve.
A father explains how his 18 month old daughter's hand injury turned into +50 hours in the emergency department, and how poor communication and suboptimal care made his family feel unheard and ignored.
This unpacks my first experience at a children's hospital in northern Ontario with my 18 month old daughter. Sadly, a family vacation turned into a tragic experience. We flew to Cuba over a weekend in late March of 2015. On Saturday evening, we went to the beach at our resort in Varadero, Cuba. What was going to be a pleasant relaxing moment turned into a tragic event. Just as we sat on the beach chairs, my 18 month old daughter caught her right hand middle finger in the chair. She completely cut the top part of her middle finger off, down to where the nail ends. Her finger bone was slightly exposed. My wife and I panicked.
My wife grabbed the separated piece, in hopes that it could be attached again. We called the security guard who right away called the ambulance. For the next 6 hours we were on the roads of Varadero. First to one clinic, where they could not treat the wound, then to the main hospital, where the wound was cleaned and she was given a temporary dressing. We got home at midnight. We had to hold her arm up straight the whole night and my wife and I took turns to rest. I looked for the first flight back to Ottawa. We flew from Varadero late afternoon the next day and arrived in Toronto late in the evening.
After a five hour layover in Toronto, we took our late night flight to Ottawa and we arrived around midnight. We went home and grabbed what we required and ran to the children's hospital. (I was afraid that there could be some infection and we, at the time, had faith in our health system.) We were at the emergency entrance around 2 AM on Monday morning. We went to emergency, explained our situation, and this is what happened next… I explained the whole episode to the person at the first triage who everyone is supposed to see first upon entering the emergency department. I also told him that the doctors in Cuba gave her antibiotics and that she has to take a dose every 8 hours. To my shock he started laughing and replies, “every 8 hours doesn’t mean every 8 hours, you just have to split the 3 dosages throughout the day - once in the morning and second in afternoon and then at night time.”
I was thinking, okay, I understand, but where is the humour in this? This person knows that my daughter’s fingertip (1 cm piece had been cut off) is in my hand and I am in extreme pain, and this is how he comforts me and my wife? After that, there was no triage done at all. We waited with my exhausted daughter for the next 5 hours. It was terrible. My baby was in so much pain and I could do nothing but wait. At this point we had been up for almost 40 hours. I went twice to the registration staff and told them exactly what had happened, but no urgency was shown. Around 6:30 in the morning we went to the inside visitor room. Here, after an hour wait, a junior resident came. We told her what had happened and she left to get scissors, she then started cutting my daughter's bandage. At this point my wife told her that the wound is fully dried now, and maybe she should moisten it to remove the bandage easily, she continued still. She then realized that it was very dry and took us near the sink in the waiting room to moisten it with tap water. She was struggling to unwrap the wound. I asked her why she was not treating my daughter in a proper room with the required equipment. At this time my daughter is crying her lungs out as she is full of fear.
After asking her twice, she took us to another room which was also not properly equipped. She brought a helper and started opening the bandage. After she opened the bandage the wound started to bleed out again. They then told me that they have to go locate the proper dressing material for her finger - my daughter is still crying with pain. I was shocked that they didn't have the equipment ready before opening her bandage. This was so excruciating for us. We felt that the treatment in Cuba had been better than our experience here so far.
The nurses and doctors left the room and here we are, me, my wife and my daughter, waiting helplessly. The blood from my daughter’s finger is now dropping on my wife’s clothes and floor. Her hand is drenched in blood. I exit the room furiously looking for some help. I ask one of the nurses at the counter about the staff's whereabout, the ones who were helping me daughter, and she gave me a robotic response: “they will be there soon.” I return to the room and grab some more tissue to clean the blood. After a few minutes three student nurses arrive with a senior nurse. The students - at least they looked like students in virtue of the instruction they were receiving - were required to do a simple dressing of my daughter’s fingers, though they don’t seem to know how to proceed... the blood is still flowing out. One nurse stated, “oh, there wasn’t this much blood when we left earlier.”
My goodness! I did not know what to tell her. Three of them clean the wound and start wrapping it with fresh dressing. Lo and behold after a minute my wife notices that they are not covering her injured finger properly, and repeatedly tells them this. When they realize they have to open the whole thing and do it again! There is also a senior nurse behind them who is actually teaching them how to do the wrapping. He is showing them by demonstrating it on one of the nurses. I am thinking, if you are qualified, just help my daughter! Why train the staff at this urgent moment? During this the senior doctor came to have a look and the only thing I hear him say is “seems like the nail is gone completely!”
That is all I hear, after which he gives some instructions to the junior doctor and leaves. Thank you doctor, for the comforting lines. They do a temporary dressing telling me that the plastic surgeon team will come have a look later in the day. It is around 9 in the morning now. We then wait for someone to show up and tell us when the team will be coming. After another half an hour of waiting, the same junior doctor arrives and tells us that we can go home and we'll get called in a day or two regarding the plastic surgeon. I explained that they did a temporary dressing and we shouldn't leave like this. Also, how will my daughter sleep? If the wound gets a little bump it will hurt her immensely. I asked her if they can cover her hand more to absorb any impact and she offered me extra dressing material to take home and wrap myself.
We had no more strength to argue or even utter a single word. We had been up for many hours (I was up for more than 50 hours). We went home, wrapped her finger with some more dressing and tried to get some rest. We got a call on Tuesday evening for our appointment on Wednesday morning with the plastic surgeon. When seeing her, she inquired about who did the dressing (this is the dressing the nurses did on my daughter’s finger, the extra one we did, we took it off earlier, as it was only for her sleep time). She actually inquired three times to who did the dressing. I told her this was the staff in emergency.
My faith in the health system of Ontario has been damaged severely. I hope something is done to restore my faith. I have seldom wrote an email to express my dismay but this one I could not ignore.
It was September, 1997 and I was a grade 7 and 8 special education teacher in Toronto. It was an exciting challenge for me to find solutions to the day-to-day problems of working with students who had severe learning disabilities and behaviour problems. Despite the challenges, I loved my job and treasured the opportunity to motivate and inspire my students to face whatever obstacles may arise in their lives. My journey through life has taught me the truth behind the following quote by Aristotle, "knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."
The morning of September 23rd, 1997 was full of excitement as I woke to the anticipation of coaching my school's football team to the city championships. I had to get the team fully prepared in practice so I decided to skip breakfast and left for school early that morning on my motorcycle. This was a decision that would change the course of my life forever.
My mother had arrived late that morning to the school where she taught and was preparing for her very energetic grade 2 class. Her organizing was interrupted when she was called down to the office to take a telephone call. As she rushed to the office, my mother made a mental note to speak to her son - me - about the motorcycle accident that caused the delay that morning. She smiled as she remembered my love of motorcycles and felt very reassured when she thought of my careful driving habits. I had recently completed a motorcycle safety course and my success stimulated thoughts of possibly one day teaching a motorcycle safety course. When my mother picked up the phone and said hello there was an unknown male voice on the other end of the line. He identified himself as an officer from the Peel Regional Police Department. To her shock and horror he was calling to advise her that her son - me - had been involved in a very serious accident and that she should go to the Hospital in Toronto right away.
Only three blocks into my trip that morning I was hit head-on by a careless driver smashing my motorcycle in one direction and spiraling me through the air in another. I was later told that when the paramedics arrived I was lying crumpled on the street some distance from my motorcycle, without a pulse, not breathing, unresponsive and blood was pouring from my mouth, my nose and my ears beneath my full face helmet. They immediately rushed me to the nearest hospital. During this time I was unconscious. I had seen a bright light and gone towards it. It quickly became apparent to the doctors at this hospital in Mississauga that they couldn't deal with the extent of my injuries so I had to be immediately airlifted to a trauma center in order to save my life.
At the trauma centrer in Toronto the trauma team rushed me into the operating room as they had determined that I had ruptured my spleen and it needed to be removed or I would bleed to death. During this surgery it was discovered that I had also torn my large intestine and the surgeons had to stitch this up as well. Following these initial life saving surgeries I was sent for a CAT scan which revealed there was bleeding in my brain causing increased pressure in my skull. The pressure had to be reduced to prevent further brain damage and ultimately death. So, emergency neurosurgery was performed to save my life. The neurosurgeons had to open up my skull and insert a tube into my brain in order to drain out the blood and cerebral spinal fluid that was increasing the pressure in my head.
My parents had rushed to the hospital and waited in the crowded emergency room hoping to hear something about my condition. They had been told by an attendant that they would have to wait for a doctor to come and speak with them. With a terrified look in her eyes, my mother asked the emergency room attendant if I was still alive. Seeing the fear in her eyes, the attendant replied quietly, "yes, your son is still alive but you will have to wait until more information is available." My mother's mind raced with a million thoughts as she rested against the cold, white wall in the hallway. She prayed that her son was safe and in good hands. The unknowns of the situation made everything feel out of control.
After several hours had passed a doctor finally came to speak with my parents. In a reassuring tone, he told them that I was still in surgery and that they would have to wait to find out anything more about my condition. After an endless eight hour wait in the emergency room, my parents were finally advised that I was out of surgery, for the moment, and I had been taken to the Neuro-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (N-ICU).
When my parents were escorted into the N-ICU they saw me laying unconscious in a deep coma and my head was larger than a basketball. There were thick staples in my head holding together a massive incision on my skull. I was also hooked up to a breathing machine as I was unable to breathe on my own.
My bloody and battered body was so swollen it was the size of the bed. My friends later told me that I looked like the Michelin Man.
It was heart wrenching to look at me. My face was black and blue and my eyes were swollen shut. I had to have plastic surgery to repair my broken nose, my broken jaw, my broken cheek bone, as well as the broken bone above my left eye. The plastic surgeon had to place a metal plate on my broken cheek bone to keep this bone together. The surgeon also had to put screws and wires in the bone above my left eye to hold it together.
My parents left the N-ICU for a few minutes to regain their composure. While taking a break outside the Unit, a doctor came to speak with them and advised them that their son had been involved in an extremely serious accident and they were not sure if he would make it. He suggested they go home and get some rest as they were going to need a lot of strength in the next few days to deal with this.
I spent the next two months in the N-ICU recovering from the surgeries mentioned above. As well as those surgeries, I also had to have open heart surgery as I had also badly damaged my heart and torn my aorta (the main artery that brings blood out of the heart). In addition, I required lung surgery to repair my badly damaged lungs. I had broken many of the bones in my chest and these broken bones had punctured and lacerated my heart and lungs. I also broke my knee and tore 3 of the 4 ligaments in my right knee. This required orthopedic knee surgery and since the day of my accident I have had to have an additional twelve knee surgeries to repair the damage that my knee has sustained.
As it can be seen, I sustained numerous serious injuries and I was not expected to live. However, the most difficult injury to deal with has been the damage to my brain. After being in a coma for two weeks, I was declared “brain dead” and it was suggested to my parents that they remove me from the fife support system that was keeping me alive. The doctors told my parents that I was in one of the deepest comas they had ever seen and did not think that I would ever wake up. Even if I did wake up, the doctors said that I would likely be a 'vegetable' and require constant nursing care for the rest of my life. They wanted my parents to think about the quality of life I would have wanted. The next day my parents sat at my bedside. My father desperately asked me if I could hear him and for the first time in two weeks, I moved my big toe and squeezed my father's hand.
A miracle had taken place and I survived this accident. I was given the gift of a second life and a second chance. However, when I sustained my brain injury I lost myself – I was no longer the same man. This is a common experience among brain injury survivors and it involves a conscious awareness on the part of the survivor that they are no longer the same person. This is exactly how I have felt since my accident and it has led to a great deal of emotional distress within me. The realization that I had changed so drastically as a result of my brain injury led to great feelings of anger, sadness and anxiety. I experienced a whole host of negative emotions because I had changed so drastically. I had changed physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially. As a result I was forced to start over and so began my journey of self-discovery.
It is my desire to teach others that anything is possible and to encourage people not to lose hope. Hope is a powerful energy that can carry you through despair.
This patient story reveals problems with episodic, uncoordinated emergency room care for a patient with chronic disease.
What we learned:
1. The ED treats people in isolation of the patient history or a follow up plan
2. ER treatment must be integrated into the patient’s history and go-forward care plan
3. The ED people are not trained to deal with or concerned with patient anxiety
I had been on my sailboat for the summer in Georgian Bay/North Channel and had not been well before I left as I had some difficulty swallowing. I live with Multiple Sclerosis. I attributed the swallowing difficulties to that. I was drinking only instant breakfast drinks, not eating.
Over the summer I was urinating a lot and having "accidents" but I attributed that to interstitial cystitis, another autoimmune disease I have. I was getting worse and had lost a lot of weight so we went home and I saw my doctor. He had blood work done and said he would call with results. When he called he said my blood glucose level was very high and that I should go to the hospital. He called the emergency room to say that I was coming.
When I was seen by a doctor, she had an IV started, as I was dehydrated, and gave me 10 units of insulin. When the IV was finished she discharged me and said to go and buy a glucose meter. There was no follow up plan and I was too unwell to advocate for myself. My husband questioned them but he was not familiar with medical protocols and so he took me home.
By the next morning my blood glucose was even higher and I was becoming incoherent and unable to think. My husband called the emergency room and was told to take me back. For the next 48 hours I was in the cardiac unit as I was in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) a critical life-threatening condition. The objective was to bring my blood sugar and ketones back to normal range without causing cardiac arrest.
Once I was out of DKA I was seen by an endocrinologist who started me on medication for diabetes. I had frequent blood tests and medications were changed and added to until it was obvious that they were not working. I was then given a prescription for insulin. I was taught how to administer it and was discharged for follow up by an endocrinologist in the community.
When I was well enough I wrote a letter to the CEO of the hospital, the chairman of the hospital board of directors, and the chief of staff. I did hear from a person assigned to respond to complaints, with apologies and regrets about what happened. I insisted on it in writing, signed by the CEO, which I received.
This example shows how vulnerable we can be when we go to the emergency room. I think that there should be some accountability in the emergency room. Was their protocol at fault, or was their protocol not followed? The outcome could have been fatal!
What we learned:
1. The ED treats people in isolation of the patient history or a follow up plan
2. ER treatment must be integrated into the patient’s history and go-forward care plan
3. The ED people are not trained to deal with or concerned with patient anxiety
I struggled with a number of issues related to my most recent surgery (a partial quadriceps tendon repair) by you, Dr. A and your resident. I initially thought about raising these issues at my next appointment but I realize how your clinic time is limited and therefore I've written this letter. An additional letter related to matters outside of your control and not concerning you is also being prepared to be sent to the hospital.
Let me begin by saying that I have great respect for you as a surgeon and have appreciated that you are a doctor who listens to his patients. I cannot however say the same about the resident you were working with on Sunday, March 31, 2013 at the hospital on your orthopedic cases.
I further appreciate that when undertaking last minute surgeries it must be extremely difficult to coordinate and complete all the cases. That being said, this was by far the worst experience I have endured from beginning to middle to end during a long list of surgical experiences.
These issues relate exclusively to your resident, the surgery, aftercare orders and instructions given prior to my release.
When I received the call on Sunday March 31 at 10:30AM asking me to come to the hospital, I was instructed to bring my health card, my blue card, and a toothbrush. When I arrived at the hospital shortly before noon I was directed up to the 7th floor, asked to change and the nurses started intravenous therapy (I.V.). A few hours later the resident showed up and asked me to sign the consent and an additional form for permission to use blood products should they be required. He then inquired about any medications and previous surgeries. I explained that both were a pretty extensive list but that they should be in my file given that I had had knee replacement by Dr. A in mid-December of 2012. When the resident returned, he advised me he was unable to locate any of this information and asked that I write out the entire list of medications, dosages and use. A nurse was kind enough to write the list of relevant surgeries for me.
I had to stop the resident in order to supply the list to him. This resident was rushing through everything and lacked the ability to stop, listen or even give me, the patient, an opportunity to speak. This was an ongoing issue every time I was forced to deal with him both before and after the surgery.
I was extremely uncomfortable with the fact that I did not get the opportunity to speak to or even see you, Dr. A, before, during or after the surgery. The most upsetting part of this was at 8PM when I was taken to the operating room and, as I lay on the operating table, everyone was in the room, including the 2 anestiseologist, the resident and several nurses, but not you Dr. A. Once they had me strapped to the table, oxygen mask in place and medication being injected, I asked the staff to confirm that you were coming and would be present in the room throughout the surgery. Having had dozens of surgeries in the past, this is the very first time the surgeon has not been present prior to me being placed under anesthetic, which was more disturbing then words can express.
Following the surgery I awoke experiencing a level of pain that exceeded what I had endured after the knee replacement or the tearing of the quadriceps tendon. Whatever the medication instructions were, they failed miserably and were offering even less pain medication then I take at home to manage my neuropathic pain. I was offered 20mg less of my Oxyneo, little oxycocet and no lorazepam at night. I was in so much pain that I was crying uncontrollably, and when the nurse finally came I was told "this is all you can have for the next 4 hours so don't even bother asking." The pain was so severe the woman in the bed next to me was begging for better pain control on my behalf. I was in so much pain I could barely get a word out.
Prior to the surgery the resident inquired if the pain service had meet with me (during the 8 hours I waited for surgery) I said no and was advised they would meet with me tomorrow prior to my release. They never did.
The next morning I unwrapped the wound to take a look and to clean the iodine on the leg. In doing so I discovered the wounds and the entire area had not been cleaned following the completion of the surgery; the entire knee was filthy and covered in caked blood. I have never seen a wound left in such condition following a surgery. Later that morning when the resident appeared I immediately inquired what the tendon looked like, how the knee looked, and so on. I was told that “it has been fixed, there will be no further problems, I can go ahead and weight bare without concern as there was no way I could damage the work that was done.” I was then informed I would be released shortly. I instantly expressed concern about being released due to a number of issues, including the fact that I live in a townhouse which requires climbing 15 stairs, that my mother is on crutches, so I had no help should I require it, and the level of pain I was experiencing, and the fact that the surgery had taken place at 8PM the night before. All this information fell on deaf ears. On top of all of this, the resident offered no postoperative instructions other then my needing to make an appointment two weeks later for the staple removal.
When I called to make an appointment in the fracture clinic the morning of Friday, April 5, I was asked to leave a message, I left my name, phone number, blue card number and reason for the appointment. To date I have received no return call.
I know I haven't known you, Dr. A, for long, but because my former orthopedist, Dr. C, has great faith in you and I respect and trust his judgment, I was willing to entrust you with one of the most important surgeries of my life and my continued care relating to those issues. This last experience has rocked that trust and while I am aware and appreciate that this is a teaching hospital, some students will always require more supervision than others. The resident assisting you on March 31, 2013 was one of those students, and I didn't deserve the less than adequate care I received. I can only hope that any damage done will not cause me long term problems.