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Harrybrigham

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A few weeks ago I went to my GP surgery for my 6 monthly routine check. When the results of my blood tests came through I was asked to go back for a repeat of my ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate). I had already noticed that my GP an Indian doctor had not seen me since the covid pandemic. I mention his ethnicity because BAME are at more risk than whites. Because of my history of pulmonary emboli, I was called back again for D dimer tests. The results of these tests were high readings in both tests. My interactions were with the practice nurses only. My feelings were that they didn't understand either of those tests fully, but I thought they would consult with the doctor. Yesterday 23rd March at 8.30am I received a phone call from the nurse, asking me to go to the hospital immediately. I drove to the hospital and arrived there about 10am. I finally saw a doctor at about 12.30 pm. I told him I was an ex medical rep so he showed me his computer screen, which had my blood results on it. Then he showed the results ADJUSTED FOR AGE. on it. My blood tests were quite normal for my age (86). What a waste of time and money for the National Health Service. When I got back from the hospital I phoned the nurse and asked her if she had shown the doctor the blood results, and she said yes. I am wondering if the doctor will apologise for his incompetence, but I won't hold my breath.
 

FrankRuperto

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D-dimer is a cardiac marker. They should have also tested Troponin level. What are your EKG and Echocardiogram results? You're most likely overdue for an Exploratory Catherisation, but you will require a clearance from a cardiologist for that procedure. As for the incompetence, I wouldn't waste time on that, and suggest the above. Hope it all goes well for you, Mate.
 

Harrybrigham

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D-dimer is a blood clot marker. The fact that it is normal for my age means that my clot status is OK. The two emboli have broken down and I am not at risk. Trop levels are normal, again for my age. I knew that I was OK but the phone call getting me to rush up to the hospital affected my wife considerably, and in the present climate with covid, I feel the mistake was inexcusable. Blood tests and an ECG were all normal and my current treatment, apixaban, is fine. But these tests were not needed and could have deprived another serious case.
 

Isaac

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@Harrybrigham sorry you had go go through that, I can only try to imagine the panic felt at the time. Glad to hear you are OK.
 

The_Doc_Man

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I'm facing something similar because my cardiologist "jumped ship" to another practice where I will not follow - because I believe that particular practice "games" Medicare for tests that really aren't needed. I have heard that from others who attend the same facility and I have some experience myself with the way they follow up on my liver issues. I found a new gastro doc and he says the tests they are running are only for someone on death's door, but the numbers on the lab printouts show that I'm not terribly sick at all. In fact, I'm probably healing slowly.

That means that I have to get accustomed to a gentleman from India (I believe) whose accent isn't terrible - but he's an unknown quantity.
 

elizabethjohanson92

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Get well soon! I was sick too, but I was cured by the Super Naturals Health coupons medication and recovered in a couple of weeks. I hope you get well much sooner and go back to the life you were living the same as before.
 

Harrybrigham

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What I was trying to get across, was that the result of it, was the waste of money due to the doctor not knowing what the results he had ordered actually meant.
 

FrankRuperto

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D-dimer is a blood clot marker. The fact that it is normal for my age means that my clot status is OK. The two emboli have broken down and I am not at risk. Trop levels are normal, again for my age. I knew that I was OK but the phone call getting me to rush up to the hospital affected my wife considerably, and in the present climate with covid, I feel the mistake was inexcusable. Blood tests and an ECG were all normal and my current treatment, apixaban, is fine. But these tests were not needed and could have deprived another serious case.
Given your age and emboli history, it's better to err on the side of caution. It would not hurt for you to have an MRA.
 

Harrybrigham

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The original clots were imaged on a CT scan. I had a second one of these, which showed I was clear.
 

The_Doc_Man

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While I'm not an M.D. I did pay attention when my many previous doctors explained my various ailments to me, and I did a bit of on-line study just so I would understand better what was going on and what I could do about it. When folks start suggesting tests, I usually ask them what they want to see so that I will better appreciate our discussions. Harry, I can't imagine what I would do with the experience you described - other than try to find a new physician. At least in the USA we have that option.
 

Harrybrigham

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I live in quite a small village on the Kent coast. My GP practice consists of two indian male doctors and an asian female doctor. Since the pandemic started I have not seen any sign of the doctors and any consultations are done with nurses. These nurses try hard but their medical knowledge is very limited. There is another practice in the village, but they have no doctors there, only locums occasionally. I do pay for a subscription to a local hospital which is private. This is not part of the NHS so I am going to try to get an appointment there. I will let you know how I get on.
 

Jon

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I hear in the UK, operations are backed up two years due to Covid. Naturally, it will depend on what the op is for, but the whole system is at bursting point.
 

Jon

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What I was trying to get across, was that the result of it, was the waste of money due to the doctor not knowing what the results he had ordered actually meant.
A friend of mines father - who lived in Wales - was 87 and had a CT scan. He had to wait 8 months for it, due to a backlog. The medics promptly lost it. He had to wait another 8 months to get another one, and they lost that one too! Each one is supposed to cost like £1,000 or so. The doctor just told him to forget getting another one. Mistakes, mistakes.
 

Isaac

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So in the U.K. do you have the option to have some kind of health insurance that allows you to choose from a wide network of doctors, at any time, to get healthcare? Like if I had a problem today, I could go on my health insurance company's website, and search through literally 100's....maybe a 1000....primary care practitioners, and many dozens of specialists, in the city where I live. Can you do that there?

(PS don't get the idea that I'm bragging as if US healthcare is 'great' - I actually think it's horrific, a perspective I gained from seeing what healthcare in Mexico is like, which seemed much better to me in quite a few ways. But one thing we do have is wide choice in doctors and hospitals--if you are on a typically common employer sponsored health care plan). I am wondering about the U.K.

I was recently learning more about Norway's system, the people actually seemed pretty happy with it.
 

Harrybrigham

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I have only praise for the hospital side of the NHS. In February I persuaded a nurse to refer me to a NHS hospital. I had self diagnosed a basel cell carcinoma of my ear. Within 2 weeks I had an appointment with a dermatologist who confirmed my diagnosis. She referred me to a maxillo facial surgeon, and within three week I was operated on. Perhaps because my job before retiring was medical rep I was able to get on well with my doctors, but I must say the NHS hospital ran very smoothly. My surgeon and I had a long chat about the NHS during the operation (local anaesthetic of course) and he said that he was working quite normally.
 

Jon

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@Isaac You pay for your "free" NHS healthcare through the tax system using something called National Insurance contributions. You will get allocated a specialist, should you need one. I do not believe you have any choice. For that, you will need to pay for private health care.
 

Isaac

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Interesting. Thanks for the explanation.
 

FrankRuperto

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The original clots were imaged on a CT scan. I had a second one of these, which showed I was clear.
So I am assuming you are taking blood thinners, proper diet, physical therapy and all is well?
 
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Harrybrigham

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I was lucky in that when I had the clots the pandemic was in full swing. I didn't have to rely on my GP. I had a consultation with a haematologist and we worked out a plan together. This was discussed and a letter was sent to my GP surgery explaining the reductions in anticoagulant strengths. I waited for the GP telling me, but this didn't happen, so I wrote to the GP asking him to change the strength of my repeat script. I noticed that he has done this, a month too late. No apology or explanation. I will be taking apixaban 2.5mg bd, for the rest of my life as the clots were unprovoked. I am 87 next Sunday so I have difficulty with exercise, but my diet is very good as I am borderline type 2 diabetes. Because I don't really have a choice of doctors, I don't feel I can confront him with his incompetence, so I will try to see one of the other two in future.
 

FrankRuperto

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I was lucky in that when I had the clots the pandemic was in full swing. I didn't have to rely on my GP. I had a consultation with a haematologist and we worked out a plan together. This was discussed and a letter was sent to my GP surgery explaining the reductions in anticoagulant strengths. I waited for the GP telling me, but this didn't happen, so I wrote to the GP asking him to change the strength of my repeat script. I noticed that he has done this, a month too late. No apology or explanation. I will be taking apixaban 2.5mg bd, for the rest of my life as the clots were unprovoked. I am 87 next Sunday so I have difficulty with exercise, but my diet is very good as I am borderline type 2 diabetes. Because I don't really have a choice of doctors, I don't feel I can confront him with his incompetence, so I will try to see one of the other two in future.
Well it's a good thing you are proactive in your health maintenanace and research. Happy 87th birthday to you and best wishes :)
 

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