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"Lack of anaesthetic for a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy"

About: The Townsville Hospital

(as the patient),

A few years ago I had my first colonoscopy with Townsville Hospital, and they used twilight sedation. Needless to say it was very uncomfortable and traumatic waking up half way through a procedure to excruciating pain and discomfort while 5 people are staring at your arse and shoving something up, trying to force it around the bends and loops of the intestines. So this time round when I was booked in again for a colonoscopy plus an endoscopy, I called to confirm 10 days before to ensure that I would receive general anaesthetic. I was told that yes I was in fact on the list for general anaesthetics, so all was good. Two days before the procedure I received a phone call informing me that there was no anaesthetist available to give me general anaesthetic, and my only options were to suck it up or rebook in 4 months time (I had already waited nearly 9 months for the appointment to start with) and given that my symptoms were getting worse, I had no other choice but to suck it up. So the time came for the procedure and the doctor dosed me with midazolam and fentanyl. I went to sleep but woke up shortly after to unbearable pain, coming from both ends, I had cameras in both ends that were trying to again be forced through the tight twists and turns of the GI tract. The doctor said with the amount of midazolam she gave me that I wouldn't remember anything, well that's not true. I was crying and crying, I was in so much pain. The nurse was there dabbing my eyes with a tissue, stroking my hair and saying "you're doing great, its nearly over". After the ordeal was over, the doctor came and had a chat to me and stated how she was unable to complete the procedure because she was distressed seeing how much pain I was in. I waited 9 months for a diagnostic procedure that wasn't even able to be completed because of simple anaesthetic. A doctor could not do her job properly because of this. A diagnosis may have been missed because of this. Unnecessary pain was caused because of this. If they knew 2 days ahead of time that they were down an anaesthetist, that is ample time to source another, although it seems to me as if they never intended to give me general anaesthetic in the first place. What sort of 3rd world rubbish is it when a patient has to be in excruciating pain during a very routine procedure? When a doctor doesn't have access to resources that should be available? Totally Unacceptable.

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