TTSH A & E 28 April 2007

Spent 7+ hours there…..overall I would say what an experience!


I received a call at approximately 4:15pm from a family member who was in excruciating pain and on the way to Tan Tock Seng Hospital after being bitten by a 6.5 inch centipede on the foot. Having just woken up after a post night shift slumber, I wondered initially if I had dreamt it up. But after a shower it was apparent that it actually happened and so I rushed out of the house and made my way to the hospital.

After being cleared at the screening station ( for SARS ), I was tagged and pointed to follow the blue footprints on the floor heading towards the A & E observation room. I was then told that we had to stay till 9pm to see if there was an allergic reaction to the venom.


I am very impressed with the patience and care provided by majority of the nurses there. They have quite alot to put up with and on a daily basis. But what disturbed me, was seeing old people on their own with no young family member in sight to help or keep them company. In fact a 78 year old lady beside us was quite distraught, she was pleading with the nurse to inform the doctor that she would rather be admitted. She went on to say that she had no one who could come fetch her home, furthermore she was feeling lightheaded and her legs were weak. The nurse told her that the doctor would be in much later to check on her, and that she shouldn’t worry too much but get some rest first. A few hours later she called out to me for help, she informed me that the neighbour had helped call an ambulance for her and in her anxiety she grabbed the wrong handbag without any money in it. She was worried that if she had to make it home on her own, then she didn’t even have cab fare. Her daughter whom she was staying with was recovering from cancer treatment whilst her son was in Batam. No one else was available to help. I didn’t bring have much cash on me so I asked her where she stayed, and she told me Ang Mo Kio, I then gave her $10 for cab fare of which she was very grateful. She kept on thanking me, so I told her not to worry about it and that she should just rest and take it easy. I glanced at her chart and saw that she was only going to be checked on by the doctor at 10pm so I gave her another $4 in case there was midnight charge etc. cannot help but wonder if I should have given her more. After all everything else could be settled by Nets or Credit card.

Then about an hour later I overheard another old and bent over 87 year old lady requesting for the security personnel to help look for her husband, who was probably worried and seated outside somewhere. He shrugged and asked her to inform the nurses to make an announcement instead. She then asked one of the cleaners for help, moments later a bow legged old man shuffled in looking teary eyed and worried. My heart just sank when I saw them together exchanging anxious glances. Later on we overheard, she had to be admitted for at least a night as her blood work did not look good. She told husband not to worry and to head on home as it was getting late. Maybe I am a wimp, but my tears just welled up.


The swelling on my family member’s foot subsided and we were allowed to be discharged at approximately 10:45pm about an hour and forty five minutes overdue as the doctor had an emergency to attend to. By the time we got home, it was past midnight.

2 Responses

  1. Oh I’m awfully sorry about your family member! I hope they’re doing better now. And I admire your charitable nature. 🙂 Don’t tire yourself out there. Ciao!

  2. Thanks Kris…*huggies* 🙂

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