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Friend in fear of hospitals and needles

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Old 12-22-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Brighton, UK
Posts: 1
SJameson HB User
Friend in fear of hospitals and needles

Hi all. I joined this board to ask a question I really hope someone can help me with.
A very close friend of mine concerns me by telling me never to take her to hospital, even not to call an ambulance in the event of an emergency. This is a result of a panic disorder condition she has resulting from a psychologically traumatic experience she had as a young child. She is terminally afraid of hospitals and does not go to them at all for fear of a serious panic attack and harm to her ongoing recovery process she is undergoing with a psychiatrist.

The initial traumatic experience was one involving needles and to recieve an injection is anathema to her.

What worries me is that in an emergency, or indeed for treatment of medical issues in general, hospital is not an option. This makes her very unsafe and I really want to know what hospitals can offer for treating such patients.

Suggestions on treatment of the condition are not really what I'm looking for, rather ideas on what I could do if I had to accompany her to hospital in the next 24 hours, for example.

Could I be assured that a hospital would be able to accomodate her by visiting her outside the hospital or through some facility? Or any way they could basically support her so that she would not have to deal with serious stress on top of any life threatening condition.

It seems that if she were involved in a car crash for instance, going to A and E would be catastrophic and counter productive. It seems like an impossible situation.

I wonder are there professionals aware of this as a common issue, and does anyone know where to find info or if such considerations are acted on in UK hospitals?

As for the needle issue, does anyone know if alternatives to needle for intravenous drug transmission are accesSible in the UK? Or what is on hand for support of people needing injections who can't face them?

If anyone happens to know more specifically about the NHS in Sussex, that would be a big plus.

Many thanks in advance for any advice and for taking the time to read my post.

All the best and look forward to reading any responses, Thanks!

Last edited by SJameson; 12-22-2011 at 08:42 AM.

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Old 02-08-2012, 03:38 PM   #2
Tree Whisperer
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Devon, England
Posts: 10
Tree Whisperer HB User
Re: Friend in fear of hospitals and needles

Well, it does seem like a difficult situation and your fears for your friend are understandable. Firstly, the "needle thing" I never thought I would hear of someone feeling the way I do. Imagine my horror when I was told I need 6 monthly blood tests for thyroid problems. Thankfully, I work in a complimentary centre and met a woman who practices Emotional Freedom Technique or E.M.T. its worth looking up as after one session I was a bit better. Its not a magic cure but I went from having major panick attacks and a half hour fight at the sight of a needle to being able to go in and out of the surgery in 2 minutes. it helps if the nurse is understanding too. I saw the same one each time and was fine until I had to have a blood test in a hospital. The nurse there was not nice so my experience was awful. On going back to my regular nurse, she was shocked by my massive step backwards. After I explained my recent "trauma" she said to refuse any future blood tests in hospital and tell them to send details to her. She will do my bloods from now on and send them to hospital. You realy need to find a good nurse for that. ask your local surgery about their nurses.
As for hospitals, yes they are aware that some people can get real panicky and will have "Friends" of the unit or non uniform staff that may be able to help. I have had help during consultations and during examinations, they explain everything and talk for me when I get too nervous to talk. I explain my fears when I go to the reception or phone prior to an appointment and they arrange a supporter to meet me. Or you can always go with your friend.. In an emergency though, they would have to get on with the sittuation at hand but should still be made aware. Has your friends fears been added to her medical records? they should be. I hope this helps a bit atleast. Best wishes to you and your Friend.

The Following User Says Thank You to Tree Whisperer For This Useful Post:
SJameson (02-12-2012)
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