Friday, May 24, 2019
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Donnie Nicolson has praised the fast actions of the staff at Portree, after an anaphylactic reaction left his partner, Rosie, straining to breathe.

Rosie's reaction took place shortly after eating prawns.  Very quickly, her lips and eyes started to swell and she was soon vomiting, struggling to breathe and struggling to walk. 

The incident took place on Friday 22 December - the same day as NHS Highland announced it would be temporarily suspending the Minor Injuries/Urgent Care Centre at Portree Hospital.

Mr Nicolson stated: "The medical team on duty at Portree Hospital quickly took her into their care and went to work. As you would expect, it was true professionalism at its best. Within a short time the drugs administered had taken effect and her symptoms were brought under control. She was kept in a further few hours for observation before being let home later that night. She had suffered an anaphylactic reaction to prawns - something we eat all the time.

"Once getting home, we had time to reflect on the evenings events, and to ask, yes - but what if?"

Mr Nicolson believes Rosie's story could have ended very differently, had the incident happened during the suspension of services.  

“Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening severe allergic reaction. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment and as Rosie had never experienced anything like this previously she had no Epipen.

“Had we gone to Portree Hospital and found there was not the appropriate staff or equipment we would have had to go to Broadford. The journey would have required an ambulance under blue lights, but would there have been an ambulance available?

“Rosie needed adrenaline – the delaying of this can result in deterioration and death. The treatment that Rosie received within 20 minutes of experiencing symptoms saved her life. If this had happened just a week later when we believe the same level of care will not be available in Portree – the outcome may have been very different.

"Rosie was lucky, she got the required treatment quickly and has made a full recovery. Our fear is that others will not be so lucky. Once the basic life saving capability has been removed from Portree hospital, lives will be lost. And once something is gone, you’ll not get it back."

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