Author Topic: 'Quiet' times at A&E?  (Read 34653 times)

Andrij

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'Quiet' times at A&E?
« on: December 16, 2010, 10:40:02 am »
I assume this can vary widely from hospital to hospital, but are there times when A&E departments generally get a bit quieter?

I ask because I'm thinking of getting some pictures taken.  My bruised rib (self-diagnosed) has gone from occasionally annoying to just about continuously uncomfortable.  If I do go for x-rays, I'd rather go at a quieter time, even if that means a trip at stupid o'clock (A&E is pretty close to my flat).

Background: happened when I took a tumble last Friday due to some ice.  The pain is around the bottom of my right shoulder blade, close to the spine.  Breathing is not painful, and I've managed a few trips on a Boris Bike without problem.

Am I just being over-cautious?  Or should I just take some aspirin and HTFU?
 
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Wowbagger

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010, 10:40:51 am »
Not Friday or Saturday evenings / nights.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2010, 10:43:03 am »
I found that a Tuesday morning at about 9.30 is pretty quiet. I imagine that's true all work day mornings.
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Jaded

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 10:43:53 am »
You also need to consider the pressure on the X-ray department; they'll have peaks of scheduled stuff.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

border-rider

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2010, 10:46:35 am »
You might want to talk to your GP

if you have bust a rib then as long as it's not moving (doesn't sound as if it is) there's not much to do about it anyway.  Maybe a decent diagnosis and some stronger analgesics will be the best you can get...

If you think it's something other than a rib then yes, go to A&E

Wowbagger

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2010, 10:49:03 am »
Take a book. I wasted several hours in A & E in October when I thought I might have had a deep vein thrombosis.

Well, I suppose that it's not a waste of time to be given the peace of mind that a clean bill of health brings with it, but it doesn't seem that way at the time.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 10:55:56 am »
You might want to talk to your GP

if you have bust a rib then as long as it's not moving (doesn't sound as if it is) there's not much to do about it anyway.  Maybe a decent diagnosis and some stronger analgesics will be the best you can get...

If you think it's something other than a rib then yes, go to A&E

Go to your GP if possible.

People who turn up at A&E with injuries >48 hours old are often either turned away or advised to see their GP.
People who arrive at stupid o'clock with something that has not started that night 'because I thought it would be quiet' may be given short shrift by skeleton staff. <Ghoulish thought>

Chest X-rays for rib injuries are done to detect complications like a collapsed lung.
Rib fractures are not always well-seen on X-ray.
X-rays showing rib fractures do not alter management, which is with analgesics and breathing exercises.

GWS!

Jaded

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 10:57:05 am »
I never find time spent in places like waiting rooms to be wasted. Watching people is such fun. Watching the way the hospital works is too - staff watching, A4 laser printed signs fun, listening fun.

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 10:59:55 am »
Am I just being over-cautious?  Or should I just take some aspirin and HTFU?

+1 to seeing your Doc rather than heading for A&E. Another option is an NHS Walk-In clinic. I got checked over by a nurse (ruling out the serious possibilities) and given all the advice I needed within 15 minutes of walking in to the Walk-In clinic. Top work.

More than likely A&E will just turn you away and tell you to take painkillers. I've had this twice (and they were right).

A&E won't X-ray you unless they think there's a serious risk of a punctured lung or other serious complication. They don't do chest X-rays just to confirm rib problems (there's little benefit and it's a dose of radiation you'd probably rather not have).

The Doc, or Nurse, will be able to rule out more serious stuff and you'll be left with instructions for maximising pain relief. I'll dig out some posts detailing how to it. I've bruised/cracked/broken ribs about 5 times (from playing 5-a-side). The main points are:

* It starts off ok but the pain keeps growing
* The pain peaks at about 2 weeks after the first incident and holy fuck can it get painful
* Over the counter painkillers work well enough, I've never had to consider prescription painkillers
* Codeine rocks, until it gives you nightmares which lead to further pain as you jolt upright at night
* Eventually the pain will go, it's not that unbearable

Let me dig up the other threads...

Pedestrian muppetry= bust rib.

and

What does a cracked rib feel like ?
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

andygates

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 11:04:34 am »
Aye, if it's not an E, don't go to A&E. 

A broken rib is just plain uncomfortable until it heals; the doc can't do anything and an x-ray won't actually change the diagnosis. 

Having said all that... midmorning, around 10-11, is quietest here.  7-9 is the first-thing rush, lunch is busy, and the afternoon is spent clearing the backlog before the evening chav fights start. Busy then until close at 2.
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Andrij

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 11:07:45 am »
Thanks for all the sage advice.  :thumbsup:

There's a walk-in centre around a 15 minute walk down the road from my office.  If I can't make it there during lunch I'll try after work.
 
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2010, 11:15:21 am »
Thanks for all the sage advice.  :thumbsup:

There's a walk-in centre around a 15 minute walk down the road from my office.  If I can't make it there during lunch I'll try after work.
 

Writing "Chest pains" as a symptom on the form will get you seen quickly. I even tried to avoid jumping the queue by adding "not heart related!" but they weren't having it. Chest pains == priority regardless.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Panoramix

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 11:18:58 am »
The walk in centre in Bristol is very good for this kind of things.

Going to A&E unless when there is urgency is just a waste of the NHS resources.

I've already spent 2 nights at A&E (one with each daughter) they were very helpful but they only kept us until satisfied that there is nothing that need urgent attention which in your case would be as soon as they see you.

They don't yet call me by my name when I get there!

marcusjb

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2010, 11:26:54 am »
Thanks for all the sage advice.  :thumbsup:

There's a walk-in centre around a 15 minute walk down the road from my office.  If I can't make it there during lunch I'll try after work.
 

Writing "Chest pains" as a symptom on the form will get you seen quickly. I even tried to avoid jumping the queue by adding "not heart related!" but they weren't having it. Chest pains == priority regardless.

This is true.  The first time my lung collapsed, I told them it wasn't my heart (it was my right lung, so didn't hurt on the left!), but I was through and seen in minutes, hooked up to ECGs, the lot.  They really wouldn't listen that it was the wrong side - I tried to tell them, but yes if you rock up with chest pains, you are a major priority.

As people have pointed out, quiet time in A&E does not equate to quiet time in X-ray (and I spent a LOT of time in X-ray waiting rooms last year).


Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

billplumtree

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2010, 12:39:29 pm »
I never find time spent in places like waiting rooms to be wasted. Watching people is such fun.

+1.  I spent a few hours in A&E in the company of a young lass who'd fallen off her pony and a lad with a fishing hook in his hand.  Just needed a baby with a saucepan on its head for the full house  ;D

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2010, 02:34:36 pm »
if you have bust a rib then as long as it's not moving (doesn't sound as if it is) there's not much to do about it anyway.  Maybe a decent diagnosis and some stronger analgesics will be the best you can get...
+1

When I bashed my ribs several years ago, A&E told me that as long as there was no sign of it moving there was no point in an X-ray, as the treatment is the same for bad bruising up to breaks: painkillers (prescription NSAIDs in my case), & give it a chance to heal up by not doing too much. GP can deal with that.

I think I cracked (not broke right through) a couple, as when the bruising was going down & I could explore with my fingers I found two very tender ridges, like that on my collar bone when the break was healing.

The A&E doctor said breathe deeply every now & then regardless of the pain (& it was bloody painful) or I might get a chest infection.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Wowbagger

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2010, 03:09:18 pm »
Our record time getting one of our kids seen in A & E was when my daughter lost consciousness after being stung by a bee.

I was still in my beekeeping overall and carried her in. I was panicking like hell because I'd got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital and she's still been conscious when we set off, just covered in horrible weals which had come up within a couple of minutes of her being stung.

One injection of piriton and adrenaline and within less than two minutes of our arrival she was conscious again. Still spent a couple of days in for observation and now, 20-odd years later, she carries an epipen and has a tendency to jump under buses in order to avoid flying insects.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

The Mechanic

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2010, 02:57:14 pm »
In January this year I woke up at 5 am with horrendous chest pains.  Wife called NHS24 who called ambulance straight away.  Ended up in Resuss for what seemed to me to be half an hour but wife said it was six hours.  Then moved to CCU for rest of day.  Further test revealed it to be pneumonia and Pleuresy.  Ended up in ARI for 3 days before my sats were up enough for me to leave.  The place was full of ill people and nutters.    On one side I had an 80 year old who thought he was at the estate agents and on the other side a 30 stone gay sumo wrestler who kept complaining that his stomach hurt and he was hungry and was going outside for a fag (no pun intended).   I am afraid I told him it would be his last suppler if he didn't shut up.   I hated every minute.  It was the best advert for private hospitals that I have ever seen.

Manotea

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2010, 03:30:10 pm »
You get seen pretty quickly if you walk in with blood dripping from a three inch gash in your hand when you've made a hash of cutting your thumb off with a 9" circular saw.

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2010, 07:57:33 pm »
You get seen pretty quickly if you walk in with blood dripping from a three inch gash in your hand when you've made a hash of cutting your thumb off with a 9" circular saw.

I can probably beat that time.
Turn up in an air abulance after loosing half an arm to a Tiger and they are waiting for your arrival.

But that a little OTT if you only want a short visit ..........  :P

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2010, 08:02:13 pm »
Probably?
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Rhys W

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2010, 12:22:56 am »
I never find time spent in places like waiting rooms to be wasted. Watching people is such fun.

When I had my over the handlebars moment, the first A&E department didn't do anything except let two doctors poke their fingers into the three extra holes in my face. I eventually got transported to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr, and I've never been stared at by so many people - I felt like a half-recognised minor celebrity.

This was Sunday morning - definitely not a quiet time!

border-rider

Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2010, 12:29:28 am »

Turn up in an air abulance after loosing half an arm to a Tiger and they are waiting for your arrival.

Now, please, you are going to have to expand on that

I did wonder about your user name, but I'd never have guessed...

Martin

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2010, 01:01:07 am »
I assume this can vary widely from hospital to hospital, but are there times when A&E departments generally get a bit quieter?

as others have said; go to your GP first :)

Steve Kish

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Re: 'Quiet' times at A&E?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2010, 08:38:37 am »
Our one in Ashford is pretty quiet since they closed it down! >:(
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