Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pretentious Priorities Part One.

Life ambled on and we had the usual round of outpatients appointments etc.

In December of 1987, when Hari was three and a half we attended for an outpatients appointment but the wait was so long we had to leave without being seen. Hari was well at the time so a rearranged date for the appointment would be no problem.

Before the appointment was rearranged Hari was taken ill suddenly and went by ambulance to our local A&E.

There they were pretty clear about their opinion that she had had a bleed in her brain and they were very concerned that she should be treated in a paediatric intensive care unit. They told me that the intensive care unit at Bristol Children's Hospital was full but that Hari would be transferred there first, whilst they tried to locate a suitable bed for her at another hospital. They warned me that she was unlikely to be in Bristol for long and that as she was being taken by ambulance it was likely that she would have been moved again by the time I got there in the car. I would have to go to Bristol to find out where she had been transferred to and then follow on from there.

When I got to Bristol Hari was still in the A&E department there. It was explained to me that 'as it was Hari' they were happy to try and manage her on an ordinary ward. They recognised that she needed intensive care but were keen to keep her in Bristol rather than send her somewhere where the staff didn't know her.

Very laudable - well not when you work out the truth!

No official diagnosis of this event was made in Bristol. Indeed no attempt was made to verify the diagnosis from our local A&E. With a suspected bleed in her brain you would have expected Hari to have some kind of brain scan - but this never happened.

I soon realised that the real reason for not transferring Hari to a hospital with an available intensive care bed was that they didn't want the diagnosis from our local A&E confirmed. They didn't want to have an official diagnosis of bleeding in the brain so soon after they had stopped the routine checks on Hari's platelet levels.

So to protect themselves the decision was made to place Hari at further risk by preventing her from getting the level of care she needed.

There seemed to be a definite pattern emerging with priorities!

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