Chronicles of the Heart – Part 9…

As I said in this post I now have my hospital records. I won’t repeat all that I said there, but the first ECG, taken on the day I was admitted clearly states:-

Abnormal ECG “Unconfirmed” (unconfirmed, of course because no bugger followed it up!)

  • Sinus tachycardia*
  • Left atrial enlargement**
  • Inferior infarct, age undetermined***
  • Cannot rule out anteroseptal infarct****

* Elevated heart rate

** There’s little data available, but odds are it’s linked to my COPD. Don’t know why just yet.

***I know the age. It dates from 1995 when I was admitted – Arrowe Park again – with a suspected coronary. I was kept in 2 weeks, told it had been angina and sent home. That “angina” took me months to recover from.

**** see ***.

It addition, my discharge notes list IHD – Ischaemic Heart Disease. Again, that links to the events of 1995

Add to this hell’s brew the left ventricular failure my GP believes he found, and I’m bloody lucky to be alive. For a given value of “lucky”.

First job tonight is fax a letter with this information to my GP and tell him I want a home visit tomorrow (I have other problems that need attention).

The next job is to name the Arrowe Park doctor involved – no accusations at this stage but I no longer feel he deserves anonymity, because one of them has fucked up, big time.

Bearing in mind the above information, what the hell was whoever is responsible doing putting the instruction “No follow up appointment necessary”?

Quite obviously, a follow up was indicated, as was making sure my GP was apprised of the above information, which, he tells me, just didn’t happen, and I should have thought a referral to the heart clinic was in order too.

Or was I just supposed to go away and quietly die without making waves? Bugger that – I may well die, but not without making waves.

I saw a battery of junior doctors in the first few days, all of them anonymous, but the consultant was Dr. K. S. Leong. His signature was on the discharge letter sent to my GP, so it seems reasonable to assume he should have made my GP aware of my heart problems.

I appreciate Dr. Leong arranging my early discharge from APH while I still retained my sanity but that’s no excuse for anything else.

I don’t believe my GP can be entirely exonerated either, he should have enquired more deeply when I told him I had been diagnosed with heart failure and he hadn’t been told, but right now I need him, so for now he gets a pass