A brush with death – and a savvy junior doctor

When Stewart Bint suffered from an intense pain in his kidney, he suspected a constricted urethra – something he had suffered from before.

But after booking in for a scan, his pain intensified – so much so that he was whisked into the urology unit at Leicester General Hospital for immediate investigations.

Luckily, a junior doctor on duty highlighted the fact that the base of the lung is very close to the kidney and raised concerns that the he may be suffering from a dangerous lung clot.

Her assessment may well have saved Stewart’s life.

“In short, I owe the NHS my life,” he said. “I’ve now seen at first hand, how absolutely vital they are, and what a sterling job they do under extremely difficult circumstances.”

Once the possibility of a blood clot was raised, the hospital acted quickly, booking in an urgent CT scan and putting Stewart on liquid morphine for the pain.

“A team of doctors came around before the scan, and said they were so sure it was a dangerous blood clot, that if I were in agreement, they wanted to start the treatment immediately,” he said.

“They assured me it would be extremely beneficial if it did turn out to be a clot and wouldn’t do me any harm at all if the problem were kidney-related. No brainer. Do it. So I duly had three injections, one straight after the other, around my navel.

“To cut a long story short, I had two CT scans – one on the kidney and one on my lungs – and they did indeed prove that a blood clot in my lung was the culprit.”

The scan results were sent to the Haemostasis and Thrombosis Centre at the Leicester Royal, and the specialist there began advising the urology team how to proceed.

Stewart was told he needed an initial six months of treatment, to be reviewed after three months.

“It began with two more injections around my navel, followed by double the dosage of tablet medication for a fortnight, and then the standard dose for the rest of the time,” he said.

“As soon as the pain was under control, they said I could go home. So thank goodness for the liquid morphine, and I was discharged on the Sunday evening.

“It’s only afterwards that I discovered just how dangerous those pesky little clots can be, with the risk of causing a pulmonary embolism.”

Doctors could not give a definitive reason for Stewart sustaining a blood clot.

“I’d been on two long-haul flights just a few weeks before being rushed into hospital, and at first we thought it was probably connected with that, but the specialist said that was unlikely to have been the cause,” he said.

“This is why I am supporting any research into the condition and will be championing RBR Active’s #SeekHELP campaign which aims to educate people on the signs and symptoms of a blood clot.”