Endless bleeding

I called my wife as usual from my hotel in the evening after work to hear that my eldest daughter was having a strange experience. She had a very small cut on here arm – no idea what had caused it – that they could not get to stop bleeding.

Given that they are both first-aid qualified, it was odd that I felt the need to go through 20-questions on things to try.

Although the cut was small, the blood loss was constant, pressure did not seem to be stopping it, plasters were not working, and towels were filling with blood surprisingly quickly.

They got onto the overnight service from our GP and were told various things to try out. When the service called back a bit later and found there was no success, they were advised to go to A&E.

At A&E they were reviewed immediately, deemed to not be urgent, and left to wait for a good few hours (waiting times suddenly increased, clearly in response to some emergency). When they were seen, nothing significant could be found and an industrial strength pressure bandage was put onto her arm, which went a bit blue. Seemed to do the trick for a while (they had to release it at regular intervals).

When I phoned up in the morning and heard that they had spent the night in A&E, I decided to go home directly to provide my support. There was not much I could actually do, but I felt I had to be there. My arrival was much appreciated and I was able to work from home, so my client was happy.

The bandage did not work for the whole weekend. She went to see the nurse at our GP’s surgery on the Monday having survived the weekend. As she walked in with a blood soaked arm, they had her jump the queue. The arm was redressed by a very puzzled nurse.

I returned to work on the Tuesday. Did not think my continued presence would be conducive to the impression that we should not worry too much. Of course, I was still really worried.

They went back to the surgery on the Wednesday. This time our GP took a keen interest and poked the arm at length, puzzled to see how what was going on. This time they took blood. The needle prick, done in the other arm, clotted quickly which meant we were able to stop worrying about haemophilia.

It took more than two weeks for the arm to stop bleeding. Funnily enough, the bleeding started the day her driving test was booked (a cancellation slot) and stopped at the end of the day of her driving test. Weird.

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