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Monday 24 July 2017

'I was bleeding inside, but I didn't want to go near the hospital' – Man bought blood test from chemist to avoid 'chaotic A&E'

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Inset: David Black
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Inset: David Black
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A business man from Drogheda said he bought his own blood test from a local chemist, in order to avoid the 'chaotic' A&E, after blood was found in his system.

David Black (50) is currently suffering from an esophageal condition, which causes his throat to bleed. His illness, which he believes was caused by environmental local pollution and exposure to roundup spraying, means that David is in and out of hospital.

"The doctor said if there was anything to worry about to call urgently, but you have to wait your turn in A&E," David told Independent.ie.

After Christmas, David was shocked to find blood in his urine and sought medical attention.

"I rang A&E in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda because I found blood in my urine and I was quite worried.

"I was told the A&E was very busy but I could head down and take my chances. Louth County Hospital is nearby too but the clinic closes at 6pm."

David decided against going to A&E and rang the North-East Doctor on Call service.

"I rang the doctor-on-call, but they said I’d be waiting five or six hours to see a doctor.

"I didn’t want to sit for hours to get a blood test so I went to Boots chemist and bought my own blood test. I shouldn’t have to do that.

"I was bleeding inside, but I didn’t want to go near the hospital. Even when it’s an emergency, the whole waiting process is terrible.

"It’s an ongoing issue for me, even when I can taste blood in my mouth."

David recalled a horror moment when he was left unattended on a trolley for hours in September at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, after being admitted.

"I was left vomiting black blood in the bathroom of the A&E. The cleaner came in and gave out to me because there was blood everywhere but there was nothing I could do.

"I rang for assistance but nobody came. Everybody was too busy to help. I couldn't get a pillow and the café shuts at night so relatives couldn't even get a coffee."

David praised the medical staff, who he says are trying to do their best in the situation.

"It’s not the staff. I have no complaints about them. It’s the system."

David was in hospital again last week for a routine endoscopy at Louth County Hospital.

"They have a small injuries clinic but they close at 6pm. I needed strong pain relief because I was in so much pain but it was coming up to closing time so the doctor wanted to transfer me to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, but there was no chance I was going there so I went home with my brother.

"I went home in terrible pain but I would have sat for hours in A&E. The doctor said he could send me down by ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes but he couldn’t guarantee I’d be seen."

David said that because of A&E closures, ambulance drivers have become "taxi drivers".

"Someone is going to die going back and forward between hospitals. Ambulances are glorified taxi services driving people from hospital to hospital.

 "I could start vomiting my guts out at any time. Facing ongoing treatment is a nightmare.

 “I could choke on blood if left unattended. Facing ongoing treatment is a nightmare."

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