My nurse friend's daughter was out of state visiting a college friend and developed acute abd pain and went to the ER. She had a recent history of unusual, longstanding abd discomfort that nobody could find the cause of. Well it ended up being a hot appendix, but not before the ER folks wrote this young lady off as a 'drug seeker' , gossipped about it and my friend caught wind of it on the phone while questioning the doctors.The ER staff didn't get appropriate consults and were just writing her off.
My friend flew out there, saw the abdominal signs, and insisted her kid be transferred to a larger facility with a specialist who quickly dx her and took her to surgery. This first little hospital will pay dearly for this one...my friend is not going to let it go and has an attorney.
What started the problem is when the kid mentioned she has been to the Er before for abd pain, they couldn't find anything wrong, but Demerol doesn't work. (all true per her RN Mom) Well granted 18 yr olds aren't always the most coherent and pleasant when they're in pain, but this facility really dropped the ball and if my friend hadn't flew out to intervene Lord knows what might have transpired...ruptured appendix and peritonitis, the works.
I err on the side of the sufferer with pain asessment and try not to judge...people who are hurting don't always behave rationally or within our definitions of proper responses.