"Emergency Department treatment"

About: Prince of Wales Hospital Sydney / Sydney Eye Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

My parent was admitted to the emergency department with chest pain. They were taken in very quickly and observations and history were taken. They were in a high risk group. Unfortunately it took over an hour and several failed attempts (leaving numerous bruises) to take a blood sample and insert a cannula. The doctor had to use an ultrasound machine. They have had many blood tests in the past without this problem.

They had very high blood pressure and the automatic cuff pressure caused them extreme pain as it went up so high. Even though they had a history of high blood pressure and was on several tablets the staff repeatedly took my parent’s blood pressure again immediately after taking it even though you could see the pain on their face. I understand the need to monitor but the level is not going to change in 1 minute.

Then we asked for them to have something to drink. My parent was finally brought sandwiches hours after being in the department and advising the staff they hadn't had lunch and that they were a diabetic on tablets. My parent asked for a cup of tea and we repeatedly asked for this. It was finally brought after my other parent and I had to leave because they were being transferred to Prince of Wales Hospital Respiratory Ward by ambulance. They were transferred before they were able to drink the tea. In the process the staff left my parent’s shoes behind.

When they were completing the paperwork for transfer they completed the falls risk tool. I advised the nurse my parent was a high falls risk. The nurse told me - this tool will tell us if your parent is a falls risk. I am sorry but unfortunately once I have told staff that my parent is a high falls risk if that is ignored and the hospital does not take steps to ensure their safety on mobilising the hospital is liable! The score was 0. However, even standing to be weighed 2 people had to steady them.

At Prince of Wales Hospital it took more than 24 hours to do the basic lung VQ (ventilation–perfusion) scan to check for clots. It took another 24 hours to report on this test. It was negative. It took another 36 hours to do an ultrasound on her legs looking for DVT (deep vein thrombosis). This was also negative. They were in hospital 4 nights receiving treatment (Clexane injections twice a day). By the 4th day it was ceased as it wasn't necessary but by this time they were bleeding profusely from the nose. They have a history of severe anaemia associated with bleeding somewhere in the gut. I am very grateful they didn't kill my parent.

Responses

Response from Tobi Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

picture of Tobi Wilson

Dear extremely concerned,

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide your feedback on Patient Opinion. I would like to apologise to you and your parent for the experience at the Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital Emergency Department. We take your concerns very seriously and I have referred your feedback to the Director of Nursing (Jennie Barry ) of Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital. Although I appreciate that you may wish to remain anonymous, I would urge you to contact Jennie on SESLHD-SSEHExecutiveServices@health.nsw.gov.au, in order to be able to review your experience in greater depth. Of course, I will completely respect should you choose not to make contact. Should you make contact, your details will remain completely confidential and not published.

Kind regards

Tobi

General Manager- POWH-SSEH and Health Services

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Update posted by extremely concerned (a relative)

Thank you for your reply. It was never my intention to be anonymous. The staff at the hospital actually gave me the feedback form to use which I initially thought was linked directly to the hospital. It was only at the end of the process I realised it was separate.

My intention was never to criticise staff who where doing the best they could under the circumstances. My hope was that some things could be improved for the betterment of future patients and their care. I didn't even include some of the more outrageous things that happened in the story.

I will contact Sydney Hospital after discussing with my parent.

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