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My NHS experience

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Elc1112, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I was taken into hospital on Thursday for an operation. Nothing serious and I am on the mend. Just thought I would share my NHS experience with you. Made me really worry about the treatment of diabetics!

    I was put on a sliding scale the night before the op and was nil by mouth for 8 hours. After 4 hours on the sliding scale my sugars dropped to 2.4. I asked the nurse to up the glucose and she said she would have to go ask permission. 45 minutes later she returned. By this time I felt awful! It really made me worry about the op the next day.

    Everything went smoothly with the op. The anaesthetist maintained my sugars for the duration of the op. I came out and was in no state to manage my diabetes myself so they kept me on sliding scale for 24 hours. They woke mr up every hour to monitor me. My sugars kept rising and reached 12.5 into early hours of sat morning. The nurse then took ne off the sliding scale to see how I got on?! Sugars kept rising and I had to ring the buzzer as I started to feel really unwell. My sugars had reached 26. I was in tears and begging for some insulin bi was told to wait for the drugs round in two hours!!

    I managed to see a doctor and told them I wanted to to my own insulin and sugars. I just couldn't believe they had let me get in that state. I know the surgery will have had an effect, but seriously?! The care I received apart from the diabetes was brilliant, but it does really make worry about the treatment of diabetics!

    Anyway, rant over. Hope everybody is well :)
     
  2. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    What you need to do is write to the surgeon in charge of your care and ask him/her very politely what happened to your care plan.
    Tell him/her exactly what happened re the withdrawal of your life sustaining medication (insulin) Keep it polite and factual. Ask also what is going to be done to improve things as you felt you were in danger of DKA and this should never of happened
    Make sure you tell him/her also that the care except for the diabetes management was exelent :)

    Ps, if there is a next time make sure you do NOT hand over your insulin to the ward staff keep it in your locker out of the way.

    Hope your recovery goes well.
     
  3. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    I have already voiced my concerns to the surgeon and will be following it up with a letter. After the op I was unable to move much so was unable to give myself injections. Meant i had to rely on them completely. They then told me it the problems ha occurred because my diabetes was badly controlled - my last hba1c was 5.3! Worrying!
     
  4. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The problems occured due to their lack of knowledge nothing else. Do not be fobed off.
    Copy your letter to your diabetes consultant if you have one and also the chief exc.
     
  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    That is worrying! :shock:

    Get that letter of complaint sent off asap.
     
  6. Glados

    Glados · Well-Known Member

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    It's a right old drag to have to complain in writing but if you can send a letter you might really shake them up. In fact, if I were you I'd send a copy of that letter to your MP as well.

    Glad you are OK... What a horrible experience!
     
  7. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    The problem for many nurses working in general wards is that they don't know a great deal if any at all about the bolus/basal insulin regime and how it needs to be calculated against the amount of carb eaten and how to calculate a correction dose.

    Many just think of twice daily regimes............. This is why its so important to take a bg meter and teststrips into hospital and also insulin pens and just stash everything in your locker including some hypo rescue stuff and something like a pack of biscuits just in case bg levels drop and there's no food about.
     
  8. s230787

    s230787 · Well-Known Member

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    What a terrible experience. I had a bad experience too when in hospital with my diabetes, as iHs states i think it is a case of twice daily regimes for some nurses, thinking about it though is this the nurses fault or the strain of the NHS?? My nurses seemed very nice, just the fact that they were constantly rushing around dealing with everyone!

    it is really important that you take your own monitor in with plenty of test strips, snacks and your own insulin. they came in my room on the first day after several hours, randomly without testing my sugar or having eaten, with a vial and the biggest needle ever, apparently it was "insulin time" I politely told them where they could put it, and did this >> :wave:
     
  9. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, thanks for the replies. As I said, I had to rely on the nurses to administer my injections for the first 25 hours as I couldn't sit up or move either of my arms very much. I've raised all my concerns to te surgeon and to the hospital. As I said in a previous post, diabetes aside the care was nothing short of first-class (apart from te food - we won't go there!!). I'm glad to be home and in charge of my own insulin again. Hopefully I wot have to be back in a situation likeyhat again! If I do, it's private healthcare all the way lol

    Em
     
  10. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    As strange as it seems but I dread anyone giving me injections.....insulin or otherwise! I was in hospital last year for 5 days and took my own insulin and bg testing kit, the staff were fine with this and all they would ask was for my insulin doses at meal-times and bg readings, I think injecting insulin for so many years makes you a control-freak when it comes to administrating insulin :(
     
  11. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. Nobody knows your diabetes better than you. I certainly feel much happier when I am in control :)
     
  12. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    When I was in hospital in august having just had premature twins I had a hypo one night which I treated but the 2nd twin who'd just rejoined us from scbu started crying and I didn't feel that I was able to hold him yet safely as I was still feeling shaky. I rang the bell and told the midwife who came that I had low blood sugar and could she hold him. She went off and returned with a blood pressure machine. At which point I repeated "low blood sugar not pressure" rather louder and then burst into tears for emphasis (hormones and hypos make this very easy). I then got a whole bevy of them telling me to eat and I keep on telling them I have and I just want someone to hold the baby until I can feed him again. Not great. They still refused to pick up the poor baby by which point the first one was also crying.

    When I complained once hypo was over I was told they had dealt with it effectively. I disagreed both about that and also on their care in general. They had no basic procedures in place as I'd not returned my insulin after one meal because I was sick of waiting for it and kept it in a frio pack instead for 3 days without anyone objecting. Considering this wasn't long after the deaths through insulin contamination in the nw this didn't seem great procedure.
     
  13. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Tigger,

    Sorry you had a bad experience too. How old are you twins now? Bet they keep you busy!

    I posted the letter to the hospital today. Hopefully get a response from them. I've also got a follow up appointment with my surgeon in a couple of weeks so I will mention it again then.
     
  14. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    In October 2010, my T1 husband ended up in hospital with a severe infection [bg 18]. He was put on a sliding scale drip and after 48 hours his bg was 22!!!. I made a fuss and got them to let him do his own insulin. At one point, a senior nurse told me the saline drip he was on was to reduce his Bg. He was NOT dehydrated at the time.Nor did he have DKA[no thanks to them!]
    Anyway I am on a voluntary "Think Glucose!" panel at the hospital and I know what the policy is. I also know that nurses haven't any real idea of controlling BG or what the target numbers mean. They are meant to do a course, but it's difficult to get them all there.
    In the end, we made a formal complaint through PALS. Even so it took over a year to get a meeting with the diabetes consultant to resolve our grumble.
    You have to persist with medics, even if it doesn't come naturally.
    Hana
     
  15. CollieBoy

    CollieBoy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Tigger, reading yor account(Today, 14:30 ) of the occurrence in august, It sounds less like an uncontrolled hypo, and more like you were in control but couldn't get BASIC assistance to hold your 2 babies to render self assistance for your hypo. If you had been in a normal circumstances, rather than having the nursing staff REFUSING TO HELP (IMHO an old tramp passing could have rendered better support)allowing you to treat your hypo would you still have classed it as an uncontrolled hypo?
     
  16. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Twins are now 6 1/2 months old or 5 months corrected and thankfully doing very well. Just to clarify I actually had dealt with the hypo but the baby was crying and I was still in that recovery stage where you're all shaky and I didn't feel it was safe to hold the baby and it was very distressing to hear him crying as I knew he just wanted to feed again and I didn't yet have the energy to do it which was upsetting.
     
  17. wiflib

    wiflib Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Tigger, I'm a Midwife and let me tell you how much knowledge of diabetes most Midwives have. These are some examples of what has been said to me by Midwives.

    "so, are you a proper diabetic now?"
    "do you still have diabetes?"

    and, on one occasion when feeling a little hypo, someone was kind enough to notice and offer me some chocolate. I declined telling them it wouldn't be long before my liver compensated. This was met with a completely blank look. She did come back and asked me to explain though.

    I would say that everybody who works as an HCP, unless they specialise, knows only the very basics of the myriad of conditions humans suffer from on top of why they are actually seeking health care.

    I knew only the very basics of diabetes before I got the condition, but I would like to think I had the common sense to support you in your situation, ESPECIALLY if you were breastfeeding twins. Juggling two babies is tricky enough but trying to feed them in the early days is a challenge that needs support however they are fed.

    I'm not taking insulin and have been an inpatient since my diagnosis a couple of times and I have to say I would absolutely NEVER allow someone else to control my condition unless I was unconscious. It's something I think of frequently and have a little shudder about. I'm hoping my children, both of whom restrict their carbs, will stand, millitant like, and support their mum!!

    wiflib
     
  18. Camilla

    Camilla · Well-Known Member

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    Dear Elc

    Thank you for telling us about this. I am actually very frightened for all of us diabetics. What a nightmare for you.

    I hope you are on the mend now.
     
  19. microfazer

    microfazer · Well-Known Member

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    reading these experiences, i'm left with the feeling that, aside from writing 'scripts, these "professionals" are at best as useful as a rusty nail in the foot.

    glad you all made it through ok, despite their most lacking efforts.




    sorta makes sense though, i know when i go to the mechanics to get my car serviced, i always bring a toolkit/oil/air filter in case the mechanic cant be bothered to properly service my car, and when i go out to dinner i always pack meals for everybody in case the cook couldnt be bothered to learn how to properly cook prior to showing up at the restaurant.


    sounds like not much of a prob for nurses -- get paid without being qualified, and do as they do without logic, medicine or science clouding up the picture. i mean really, its incredibly tough keeping up the masquerade of being a qualified nurse and having to familiarize one's self with inusulin methods that have only been used for 20+yrs.



    >> and certainly this doesnt apply to all nursing staff, but to those that it does, a public tarring &feathering seems like a great place to start.
     
  20. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Most of the nurses did seen very knowledgable about diabetes. The one that came to my during the night shift when my sugars were high, however, seemed clueless. I do appreciate that there are a myriad of health conditions that these people need to be aware of and it is impossible to be an expert in all. I just didn't feel safe being in the care of people who felt it acceptable to let my blood sugars reach the high 20s and then tell me to wait for the drug round for my insulin. We all know how serious things can get when sugars are too high. On top of this, high sugars means we don't heal as well as we could or should do. Following a major op, I really wanted my sugars to be under control to give myself the best chance of recovery. I don't think there is any excuse for neglecting diabetes like this.

    I've actually got an appointment with somebody from the hospital on Monday to talk through these concerns. I don't want to make a mountain about of a mole hill, but this could have been a lot worse than it was.

    Will let you know how I get on. Until then, no more stays with the NHS lol.

    Thanks again for all your replies :)
     
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