Date: 01 September 2016
The complainant’s daughter was taken ill at school, with abdominal pain and a high temperature. An ambulance was called. The complainant was unhappy that her daughter was not allowed a drink, when she was very thirsty. It was thought the patient might have appendicitis. The complainant did not believe this and complained the Paramedic would not listen to her. The daughter’s temperature started to come down, the Paramedic wanted to give the patient pain medication. The Paramedic asked the complainant to leave the room to allow for her to complete her assessment of the patient. The complainant was not happy that a safeguarding complained that caused a lot of upset and distress.
The investigating manager reviewed the Patient Care Record and met with the crew who provided statements including the sequence of events. The patient was screaming in pain when the crew arrived. The Paramedic advised not to have a drink of water as she was complaining of unexplained abdominal pain with a pain score of 8/10. This is normal practice for patients with unexplained abdominal pains to be denied food and drink until a thorough assessment has been achieved in case surgery is required at a later stage. The patient was offered pain relief due to the level of pain, the first choice was Entonox. This was initially refused by the daughter and the complainant. Following a discussion about the options they both agreed to try the Entonox. The patient had difficulty in using the Entonox correctly. Both crew members tried to give instructions on how to use to for the best effect but this was unsuccessful. The complainant asked the crew to give her daughter paracetamol tablets. It was explained that the Ambulance Service do not carry paracetamol tablets and as an alternative offered IV Paracetamol. The daughter became quite distressed and upset as she did not want a needle, the Paramedic offered Oramorph which is administered through an oral syringe, not an invasive procedure. This was also declined by the complainant.
The paramedic was concerned for the patient’s level of pain and had stated that she would ask the mother to leave the room as she was reluctant to let her daughter have any pain relief, the Paramedic had a responsibility to act in the patients best interest.
- Lesson learnt / action taken:
The crew were concerned about the mother’s behaviour and then the reluctance of her daughter to talk to them and almost reclusive whilst on route to hospital. Patient appeared afraid of every intervention suggested by crew. The crew acted correctly and followed Trust Procedure in highlighting their concerns and raised a Safeguarding referral.
- Date:31 August 2016