Pulled Elbow : A First A&E Experience


Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh (from Google Streetview)

Something very horrifying happened last weekend, when Amira was playing with Kia, suddenly Amira cried in pain. We quickly checked her body but nothing looked injured, but it looked like she favoured her right arm and refuse to move it. It was late in the afternoon on a Friday, so we couldn’t take her to the GP.

First Aid

We decided to stay at home and tried to make her calm. Soon later she can calm but started crying whenever she moved her right arm. We did what according to NHS about sprain wrist found here.

We did the PRICE when it came to an injury that is, Protection – we didn’t do this since she was upset every time we tried to touch her wrist, Rest – putting her arm in a comfortable position, Ice – we gave her ice compress to the arm, Compression – we didn’t do this since we were afraid to make her crying, and Elevation – ensure her injured arm stayed above her heart level.

We also gave her one dosage of Paracetamol to reduce the pain, although no swelling or bruising visible. We didn’t give ibuprofen because in the first 48 hours it can delay the healing. More about that can be read here

Call 111

Up until the next day, she looks like getting better, even started jumping on the sofa as her usual activity, but once she started jumping she howled again in pain. That’s the cue for us to call 111 since it was a Saturday morning that day. I gave a call, it was received by an officer followed by a descriptive examination when the officer asked me the condition, I was then given an appointment to come to the A&E.

The operator will need it to check whether you are registered to the local GP to ensure you got all covered. So, if you are a permanent resident, had paid IHS insurance during your visa application and had not register yet, you can register to your local GP the nearest or most comfortable for you. It’s easy, I will write about it in another post. All the treatment by NHS will be given without costing any money, because we already covered by the NHS.

Visit to the A&E

We got ready and grab the bus to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where I thought the Sick Kid hospital was. But having went there we were told that we were supposed to go to the Royal Hospital of Sick Children in Sciennes Road. Well, I blame myself for not elaborating the address of the hospital. So we take another bus to RHSC in Sciennes Road. Amira seemed calm already so it wasn’t so much trouble. So worth to take a note next time you called 111 make sure you ask where the exact address of the A&E is.

Once we got to the RHSC we came in from the main entrance on Sciennes Road, it turned out the A&E entry (along with the disable entry) was on Sylvan Place. It didn’t matter because we were told to follow the red line to the A&E. As we walked to find the A&E we can see that the hospital was very colourful decorated and has so many pictures and toys that the kids would love. We then inform our appointment to the reception, and got the nurse checking on Amira condition, then in 10 minutes the doctor came to see us.


Play corner in A&E Examination Room

Doctor examination

We quickly explained what happened to her and she asked whether Amira’s arm fell on something hard or just had been pulled, I told her that Amira had just been pulled and had not fell on anything hard. The doc then proceed to examine Amira. Because Amira seemed a little bit afraid, the doc smartly took a Sofia storybook and started telling her the story while holding the storybook and start examining Amira’s arm.

She keep touching Amira’s arm gently, while keep telling her the story of Princess Sofia, and then she said to us it is a pulled elbow, that had made the ligament in Amira’s elbow moved out of the right place. Then she explain to us that she will do a gentle push to put the ligaments back in place. It was done very quickly, we didn’t even realize she had done it. Then the doc said that she heard a click sound in Amira’s elbow. She said it should be fine now and we were told to wait for about 5 minutes then she will check on Amira’s reaction again.

Amira went straight to the kids play corner in the A&E, supplied with many toys, story books and one aquarium with colourful fishes. She seemed calm and happier now, but still reluctant to use her right hand. But 5 minutes later when the doc ask us again to see her, we could see that Amira has managed to take one toys that looks pretty heavy with her right hand without any difficulties or sign of discomfort!

In case of Recurrence


Pamphlet of Pulled Elbow

The doctor explain to us that pulled elbow is very common to child her age, and should it happens again, we know what to do, by giving us a simple but very helpful pamphlet. Having all set and cured, we were so relieved that nothing is serious. Time to go home, but since the hospital was full of toys, the kids seems reluctant to go. Not too worry though, since it was located beside The Meadows, we decided to take a quick picnic for a while in the park. At last, everybody is happy now!


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