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Kershaw County Medical Center ER Complaint - NO COMPASSION AT THIS ER

Review by tlynne on 2009-07-10
CAMDEN, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I went to Kershaw County Medical Center's Emergency Room in Camden on Tuesday with severe abdominal pain and constant vomiting and diarrhea. After waiting a while when no one was in the waiting room, they finally called me back. I was given an IV with fluids and something for nausea. Then I was basically left there for hours. When they finally came back, I mentioned that my back was starting to hurt and they just said ok, well we have to wait on your test results. Three hours later I was finally allowed to leave and just sent home with two tablets for nausea. All I was told was I had bacteria in my urine and they would do a culture. I wasn't given any other explanation for my illness or why the bacteria could be there. The next day, Wednesday, I was in a lot of pain with my back. I wasn't having such severe back pain when I initially went in to the ER so I called the ER and asked if it was normal. The response I got was that I needed to call my family doctor. Well, I don't really have a family doctor. So, I just suffered all day in tremendous pain still not knowing what was wrong with me. Finally, Thursday evening, after being in pain once again all day long and missing work, I get a call from a nurse at the ER stating I have a Urinaray Tract Infection. I asked could that be why I am in so much pain in my back and she said yes and they would call in an antibiotic. I asked if they could call me something in for pain even just for the night until the antibiotic kicked in. Her response was to take some asprin or motrin. Here I have been sick three days with no clue whats going on, was in tremendous pain and she tells me to take some Advil. Well, I'm not an idiot and I had been taking Advil but it wasn't strong enough for the extreme sharp pains I was getting in my back. Also, why did it take almost 3 days for them to tell me I had a UTI? Those can be very serious if not detected in a timely manner and it's no wonder I was having such bad back pain. I called and complained to a lady that works there and her response was I needed to come back in the ER to be administered an IV with something for pain. So your telling me you want me to come in and spend several more hours in the ER and spend several hundred dollars to get an IV with pain medicine when you can call me a pill in down the street at the drugstore that will cost me $10 and releive some of this back pain!! They could care less how I was feeling and had no compassion what so ever. I have never experienced anything like it. I am still in pain today but have been taking the antibiotic which hopefully will releive this back pain by tomorrow. I wasn't even asking for a full prescription. I would have been happy with one or two pain pills to help me sleep and tone these sharp pains down. I don't have a history of taking pills. I don't even like to take pills but if I'm in a lot of pain, then yes I will. The lady I talked to didn't have a care in the world and obviously just wanted me to come back and fork over my hard earned money b/c she didn't want to call me in anything. Unbelieveable!!! If you live in Camden, watch out for that ER. I will drive 30 minutes away next time just so I can get the care I deserve. They're supposed to take care of their patients. What the hell are they getting paid for? To be jerks?! I will never set foot in there again and I advise anyone that wants caring and professional helathcare not to either.
Comments:23 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-07-16
Posted by Suusan B. on 2009-07-10:
I don't understand why they couldn't diagnose a UTI while you were in the ER and have you leave with the proper antibiotics which would have relieved/prevented your back pain. I've been to the ER twice in recent history and although they told me both times my shoulder wasn't broken an orthopedic surgeon I saw shortly thereafter said it was and showed me where a piece of bone was missing.

Unfortunately, ER's only want to make sure nothing serious is going on and always refer you to your family physician. They don't ever want to hear from you after you leave and therefore aren't good on providing follow-up care after you've been discharged.

I'd suggest you get a recommendation from one of your friend's for a physician they like and get established with him or her. You will get better care and it will cost you a lot less.

I hope you're feeling better.
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-07-10:
sounds like they did not see this as life threatening.

suusanb is corect.
Posted by BokiBean on 2009-07-10:
I know that pain well, and wish you had a family doctor. A lot of this could have been avoided.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11:
You are treating the ER like it was your personal primary care physician, which it is not. The idea is to stabilize you until you can see your own doctor. You say that you don't have one, time to get one.
Posted by Principissa on 2009-07-11:
What I think you need to do is find a good general practitioner. The ER is not a doctor's office and will not provide you with the kind of personal care that you had required. A family physician or general practitioner would have.

The ER is a place for emergencies, it is not a walk-in clinic or a doctor's office. All they will do is assess your condition to make sure your illness/injury is not life threatening, give you what you need to stabilize you, and send you home with instructions to follow up with your regular doctor within the next couple of days.

As far as the wait time goes, emergency patients are seen on a case by case basis. That means that your stomach pain (while I sympathize with it) did not require immediate attention. For all we know they could have just had an ambulance drop off a person having a stroke or heart attack. Someone could have been coding in the back causing the staff to use life saving measures to bring them back. Or they could have been full from "frequent fliers" coming in for their daily dose of pain pills or getting their kids or themselves medical check ups. (A lot of people do that)

I realize that you don't have insurance, and I sympathize with that, but it does not negate the fact that you need to find a doctor.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11:
Another place you can go for sudden illnesses is a 24-hour free standing clinic. (They are usually much cheaper and quicker than an ER. They are set-up for just these types of problems that can occur at any hour, and quite suddenly at times. UTI's can develop into a kidney infection very rapidly too. It's happened to me on a Friday night before, so I am very well aware of the scenerio. I couldn't have gone to my regular doctor, nor would I have waited 3 days to see her.

When I went to the clinic, they diagnosed it, gave me antibotics and also a small rx of pills to numb the pain. They also said to use a heating pad and drink plenty of cranberry juice too. By the next day, I was practically pain free.

I feel sorry that there are people dropping the ball when it comes to someone's medical care. They could have very easily given you the standard medication to get you through the night until the antibiotics kicked in. Compassion is certainly lacking in many medical facilities today, that's for sure.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-07-11:
Pain medication for the most part cannot be "called" in. Not to mention that repeatedly demanding this type of medication will have you labeled as an pill seeker. Doctors don't like being told how to their job and it sounds like you did just that. What thy did was the of care for vomiting and for a possible UTI. (It takes time to culture the bacteria.)

As for the wait time, you have no idea what was going on inside the emergency room. The paramedics could have brought in a case. If you'd like more personal care go to a family physician or at least an urgent care clinic (most will see patients regularly (like a doctors office).

I don't think the ER was in the wrong. It sounds to me that you expected more hand holding that a ER can give.
Posted by Principissa on 2009-07-11:
kia I actually prefer the 24 hour clinic here to the local ER. When little man had to get stitches in his leg we were in and out within an hour. The only time they couldn't help us is when little man broke his nose, they didn't have the capacity for that type of injury and actually phoned the ER for us to let them know we were coming in. We had virtually no wait for the ER after the doctor there called in to let them know we were coming and they did all the insurance information over the phone. All we had to do was sign the paper work to consent for treatment and to bill the insurance.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11:
Princi, the 24 hour clinics are the way to go when you can. I never have bad pain or weird stuff happen until Friday night or the weekend. Never fails. Either did my kids. It's gotta be Murphy's Law. I have had long waits in ER's except for once when I had menningitis and was puking all over the place. They let me right in, lol. Little man shouldn't have to wait with a broken nose--that hurts and could be more complicated. Have you thought of putting him in a bubble, lol.
Posted by Principissa on 2009-07-11:
LOL, the thought has occurred to me on multiple occasions. If I could just keep him out of trees....

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11:
Those trees are dangerous for sure. My son once fell about 20 feet out of a tree. He was attached to it by his guitar strap (about 13 y/o), duh. I heard a snap, crash and see him hit the ground, flat on his back. I called his dad because I was so freaked out. We ran out and he was running around the yard going, ow, ow, ow. His father took one look at him, shook his head and went back in to watch the game. The kid had a bruise on his back, thankfully. I thought he broke it for sure. The good news--he never did that again, LOL. Kids!
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11:
I fell out of my tree once.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-07-11:
C2O..how many branches did your head hit on the way down? My guess is no less than 20.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-07-11:
I never climbed a tree :(
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-07-11:
Suusan, Princi, Eloise, KIA...all excellent posts.
Posted by Nohandle on 2009-07-11:
I've had a number of UTI through the years but never with constant vomiting and diarrhea associated with it. As I've told other people, have one UTI and there's no doubt in your mind when you have another one. You received in your mind less than satisfactory attention at the ER. Others have suggested what to do in the future. Do listen to them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-11:
I know UTI's are most common in women who experience frequent intercourse. I now know which of you do.
Thank you all for giving the gift. :)
Posted by Nohandle on 2009-07-11:
You promised you wouldn't tell C2O. Ladies, whatever he says pay him no mind. HE LIES!!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2009-07-11:
I've never had that problem...uhh, so is that good or bad?
Posted by Nohandle on 2009-07-11:
Depends on whether C2O is telling the story or I am.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-12:
I lay, NH. I like the way that reads. lmao!
Posted by tlynne on 2009-07-16:
My mother called the Doctors Care down the street from my house and told them I could not stop vomitting and told them the rest of my symptoms. I was also having severe abdominal pain. They told me to go to the ER. I'm not an idiot. Do you think I actually wanted to go to the ER and wait forever and be charged a ton of money! I did what they told me to do. I don't just go the ER b/c I don't feel well. I was sick as hell and I didn't know if it was something serious. I just expected a little bit of compassion. And yes they can call in pain pills. Not everyone is like Michael Jackson! I don't like taking pills unless I'm in tremendous pain which I was. Sorry nobody understands. You weren't there. I do have sense enough to know when I need to go to a regular doctor and when I need to go to an ER. It was obviously something else (virus, upper GI infection) in conjunction with the UTI.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-07-16:
every one needs
1. a good lawyer
2. a good dr.
3. a good insurance man/woman
I got all three years ago when they were young and am older than all of them, I'm gonna die before them and won't have to look again. LOL!

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