"My recent surgery experience"

About: Armadale Hospital Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

(as the patient),

Earlier this year I attended Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) for the resection of a recurring cancer in my left thigh. I was anxious to see my surgeon as we hadn't spoken for a few months. I woke later that afternoon to find that the surgery was bigger than expected and I would be in an extra day due to the two drains connected. I was discharged with no anticoagulants nor antibiotics, which my family found confusing given the size of the wound. After two days I was told to present at Armadale Kelmscott Memorial Hospital (AKMH), where it was discovered I had Pulmonary Emboli. I had CT confirming this and was given heparin injections and oral medications. I was discharged from AKMH a couple of days later, despite having a suspected chest infection I was given no antibiotics. I then had to return to AKMH with a pneumonia. I was discharged a number of days later with a course of antibiotics and follow up appointments for X-rays and blood tests. I am told I am to be on the blood thinners for a number of months. I feel I have been neglected as far as treatment goes in order to gain an extra bed. I am also disappointed not to hear from my surgeon since.

Responses

Response from Liz MacLeod, Chief Executive, East Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Liz MacLeod

Dear Rasberry,

We are so grateful that you shared this story about your experience with us at Armadale Hospital. We are sorry to hear that your care and recovery did not go as you had expected, because we want all of our patients to feel well looked after and be given the best possible outcome.

It is our intention to provide all patients with the best possible care, which on occasion includes giving care at home. A practice that is becoming more common in modern healthcare and is never intended to compromise the care of yourself or other patients.

Blood thinning medications are given to treat pulmonary emboli and then often continued for many patients at home over some months to be most effective. I can only apologise if this wasn’t properly explained to you, or if we didn’t provide the appropriate follow-up outpatient appointment and advice to see your GP as needed.

I am also sorry for any concern caused in relation to a lack of communications on discharge from Armadale Hospital with a suspected chest infection. While we are unable to comment on your particular case here, it is not uncommon for patients to be discharged from hospital without antibiotics when test results may not yet have confirmed a diagnosis. Despite this you should have received adequate instructions for follow-up care.

Thank you very much for telling us about your story and I appreciate the courage it can take to do this. Please accept my sincere apologies for not meeting your expectations on this occasion and I would warmly welcome you to come forward to contact our Consumer Liaison Officer on 9391 2308 or ahs@health.wa.gov.au as this would help us understand your situation more specifically.

Kind regards

Liz MacLeod

Chief Executive, East Metropolitan Health Service.

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