A teenage boy who developed complications after being infected with Covid-19 was told that he had to wait nearly a year to get a medical appointment.
A few months ago, Alex Burtenshaw, 17, was a teenager who enjoyed a lively life playing basketball at his school, Mount Temple in Dublin.
Last March, he went to France on a family holiday and came back sick with high temperatures and coughing. The results of the PCR test on March 23 confirmed that he had caught Covid.
He spent the next two weeks coughing and tired in bed.
His condition worsened and on March 28 he was admitted to the Beaumont Hospital in an accident and emergency. He was suffering from severe chest pain and shortness of breath.
The doctor gave Alex a chest x-ray, which suffers from asthma, but asthma was revealed and he was sent home. One healthcare professional said he should just “wait for it” and give his body a chance to recover from the virus.
However, he cannot resume his normal life and is tired just by climbing the stairs. He always has chest pain and he can only manage a few hours of school work at a time. He had to be exempt from his summer exam because he couldn’t concentrate for a long time.
However, when her mother, Emma Bartenshaw, was referred to the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Beaumont Hospital, she was told that her first appointment was at the earliest March 2023.
She says she’s trying to ask for help for him, given that he’s too old to attend Temple Street Children’s Hospital, but can’t function properly after Covid. Told.
“He was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and was referred to an infectious disease clinic, but when I rang them, they considered him a complex case,” Bartenshaw said.
“They said March next year would be the earliest he could see.
“This was a boy who was completely healthy and active before Covid, and now he can’t even walk around the block without chest pain and shortness of breath.”
Since his condition had not improved, she even tried high pressure chamber treatment recommended to reduce inflammation with asthma patients. Alex had 15 sessions lasting over an hour. This helped her breathe a little, but did nothing to the symptoms of fatigue and chest pain.
She tried to make him look personal, but she is currently looking abroad for treatment to help him recover.
“I feel like there’s a complete gap between the ages of 16 and 17,” Burtenshaw said. “He was treated as an adult in the medical sense, but I’m very worried that he’s been ill for a long time.
“It’s been 10 weeks since he was first diagnosed.
“The school is very understanding and it’s too stressful to do his exams, so he advised that they would prepare for him when he entered his sixth year.
“They give him a flexible day and are willing to accept that he is so tired that he can only go to school for a few hours.
“I just want to see him regain his life and he’s fully functional and not worried about his breathing and his heart.
“It was a nightmare.”
According to a statement from Beaumont Hospital, “The average waiting time for an infectious disease clinic appointment is 4-6 months.
“All waiting patients are triaged by a consultant who determines patient requirements in terms of appointment time, based on clinical needs.
“If an individual patient has access concerns, we recommend contacting patient advisory and liaison services who can assist with the patient’s concerns.”