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This is a question Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hospitals

Tingtwatter asks: Ever been on the receiving end of some quality health care? Tell us about it

(, Thu 11 Mar 2010, 11:49)
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Unqualified Doctors, etc
I've been happily sober for 14 years now (long story for another QOTW) and one of the responsibilities of said sobriety is helping others less fortunate (i.e. ripped to the tits) get some help. Cue my mate Steve calling me at the wee hours to join him in helping another mate who had *badly* fallen off the wagon.

Seems Jeff had been on a screaming bender for 3 weeks, consuming up to 2 litres of Bacardi 151 a day and now was trying to sober up on his own. Not a good idea as a grand-mal seizure is a real possibility at this stage. We decided to drive him ourselves to the ER (A&E) of our choice as the local paramedics would only take him to closest facility. Bad choice. We arrived 20 minutes later with our barely coherent mate (who twice spewed in my car) unable to sign himself in due to the early onset of the DT's. Two hours (and much pleading with the nursing staff for help) later we final manage to speak to a doctor who had the worst "it's his fault and I don't give a rats arse" attitude I've ever encountered. His advice? Take him home and let him sleep it off. No amount of pleading/yelling/threatening would make him or the staff change their minds.

We bundled him up (now at this point seriously off his gourd with the shakes and hallucinations) and, not waiting for the disinterested staff to properly discharge him, took him to a second ER about 30 minutes away. The change could not have been more different. Jeff was immediately put on the proper anti-seizure medications (Ativan) and was promptly admitted to the hospital for 4 days. The admitting MD was astonished at Jeff's treatment at the first hospital, saying that "not all doctors are trained in the handling of acute alcohol withdrawal". WTF?

Wanker. Had we followed the first doc's advice and taken him home the poor sod would have either had a seizure or continued to drink himself into a coma.
(, Thu 11 Mar 2010, 14:17, 4 replies)
I've seen the DT's happen to someone I love
I didn't know much about them at the time but now I do, and on reflection I am even more scared shitless about what happened that night than I was at the time.
I think your mate is extremely fortunate to have friends like you. Fingers crossed for him.
(, Thu 11 Mar 2010, 15:18, closed)
This was about a year ago
He's doing just spiffy now. I see him at meetings about once a week. One of the great things about AA is you *always* have someone to call if you're in trouble, hopefully before you start drinking.
(, Fri 12 Mar 2010, 0:27, closed)
2 whole litres of 151 is an incredible amount of alcohol for any group of people, let alone a single person. I am utterly amazed the guy is alive after that.
(, Fri 12 Mar 2010, 17:33, closed)
As were we
We had NO idea of the amount he was drinking until we got over there. His flat has littered with empty one litre bottles. Withdrawing from this amount of alcohol requires medical supervision, hence the 4 day stay.
(, Fri 12 Mar 2010, 23:38, closed)

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