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Self harm and A&E?

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george81

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
Messages
88
Location
UK
Hello everyone, last week I self harmed. I was wondering what people's experiences were of going to A&E and getting assistance for a self harm wound. What did you tell them and are they funny with you?
 
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notsurviving

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
7
Location
new zealand
Question:
Are you supposed to go to the hospital if you selfharm, i never know ?
 
Mal84

Mal84

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Jan 15, 2020
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Hovering in the Atlantic
Hi!

From past experience, it’s been a mixed bag. I either got very understanding nurses or well, the opposite.

A&E always insisted I saw the mental health liaison but when I go to a minor injury unit they always past on a message to my care coordinator.

I would always say though that if you think sh needs seeing to then please always go and get it seen to.
 
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george81

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
Messages
88
Location
UK
Hi!

From past experience, it’s been a mixed bag. I either got very understanding nurses or well, the opposite.

A&E always insisted I saw the mental health liaison but when I go to a minor injury unit they always past on a message to my care coordinator.

I would always say though that if you think sh needs seeing to then please always go and get it seen to.
Hello and thank you for your reply. I only ask as last week was the first time I did need to go to A&E but I left it and now the wound isn't healing as it should. I am wary about going to hospital because of what might happen. I also work at my local hospital and am very worried about people finding out why I would be there. x
 
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Helena1

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Forum Safety Team
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Oct 11, 2014
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10,551
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UK
i haven't been to A+E myself but this guy next door to me was being treated for SH and the were very respectful towards him, even though it was very minor and didn't need any treatment imo. i could tell as he had his wounds on display even though he could have easily covered them.

you could see a nurse at your GPs unless it is urgent, if you don't want to go to A+E or a walk in place, they don't have them near us though.

I don't know what you mean by isn't healing as it should, maybe you should get it checked out.
 
Finite

Finite

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Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
144
Location
UK
I have been to A&E with a few different self harm issues over there years and I've found it totally depends on who you get to see, as to how they treat you. If the wound's not healing, it might be infected, in which case it'd be a good idea to get it looked at somewhere. If you do end up going somewhere, I hope whoever you see, is understanding and not judgemental at all.
 
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notsurviving

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
7
Location
new zealand
Hi!

From past experience, it’s been a mixed bag. I either got very understanding nurses or well, the opposite.

A&E always insisted I saw the mental health liaison but when I go to a minor injury unit they always past on a message to my care coordinator.

I would always say though that if you think sh needs seeing to then please always go and get it seen to.
Thank you!
 
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WhySoSerious

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
146
Location
UK
I'd say it really depends on a few things...

Firstly is severity. If you are going for the "help" that A&E gives then I would say restrict this. You don't want to get into a pattern of self-harming to attend A&E to get a need met. Its easy to fall into that pattern. I know someone who self-harms a lot and the key function is to attend A&E so he can be "looked after". It takes him away from the in-the-moment distress. If the self-injury is relatively minor I would treat at home wherever possible - having good infection management and cleaning/wound care equipment is a good start. Some MH units actually won't clean and dress wounds for you, they expect you to do it yourself.

Secondly to answer the question... it's variable. You will often find many professionals greet you with an eye roll and a telling off. Most A&E professionals tend to view self-harming as an inconvenience especially ones that believe you are taking away their time for "real" problems. That said I know of some brilliant nurses in A&E that are exceptional with this type of thing.

If your wounds aren't healing properly I would run it past the local GP - if its inflamed, red or er gunky.
 
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xrachgurlx

New member
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
2
Question:
Are you supposed to go to the hospital if you selfharm, i never know ?
I think unless you think you need medical attention for it or if you want someone who is trained to look at it if you think it's bad then yes but if its minor then you should be able to treat it yourself at home
 
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george81

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
Messages
88
Location
UK
I just wish sometimes your GP practice could deal with things like stitches instead of having to go to A&E for them, it seems so extreme! Maybe things will change in time?
 
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WhySoSerious

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
146
Location
UK
The problem is the GPs are run ragged at the best of times without dealing with self-injury on top. I can see why they want to make it harder for people. If you have to go through the hassle of going to A&E for stitches its more likely you will treat at home or not do it. I guess that's the attitude of some GPs at least.

TBH steri-strips normally do the job fairly well.
 
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