"Painful Experience"

About: Kalgoorlie Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

For days I had pain in my liver, kidney and appendix area and started to get really bad. I went to the doctors who referred me to the ED at Kalgoorlie Hospital and they checked me out without any scans. The doctor only pressed on my stomach and told me it could be a pulled muscle but I was still in pain. 5 days later I woke up with stabbing pains and called the ambulance. When the ambulance got to me I couldn’t walk and that the pain was in my side. The pain did not cease with medication. The ambulance driver told me to walk and I couldn’t. They got me in the ambulance with a stretcher but even that was hard as I was in so much pain. I was almost screaming in pain on the way. The ambulance driver told me that the medication they gave me they had given someone with a broken leg and they were able to walk on it after. The thought it was strange that I could still feel the pain.

I got to the ED and they gave my morphine injections. The pain still didn’t cease. They gave me a pain killer up my behind and the pain was still severe. They also gave me pain killer tablets that didn’t help. They decided to give me an MRI and I was in that much pain I was screaming. They told me that I shouldn’t be in any pain. The doctor started pushing on my stomach again and I touched me leg in which I jumped to. The doctor stated that that was my leg and not the source of the pain, I just felt like they didn’t believe me that I was in so much pain. I had the MRI and they took me back to the ED. The results showed nothing. I had a urine and blood test. The results showed nothing. Not long after I felt nauseous and I asked the nurse for a cup of water and their attitude seemed like they didn’t want to but I couldn’t get it myself because I couldn’t walk. I felt like it was very hard to get their attention.

They told me to call my next of kin to come and get me. I said I couldn’t move and that I was feeling very sick. I was able to stay a little longer and dozed off. I woke up screaming in pain and there was a nurse at the end of the bed moving the bed up. I told them to stop as it was making the pain worse and they just told me to settle down and that it was okay. They then told me to call my friend again and they were going to come and get me. They put me in another room to wait and just as my friend got to the hospital, they told me I could stay longer and so my friend had to drive home. I got some sleep and another shift nurse lifted the bed again and woke me up in pain. Later on in the morning another doctor came in and ordered me to stand up and told me that I had to leave. The pain was better but I was still getting sharp pains in my side. I begged to stay another hour as I was in too much pain to go home. They allowed me to stay but another nurse came in and told quite aggressively that I had to get up and leave now. I asked the nurse to stop yelling at me. They just told me to get my stuff, call my friend and meet them at the front – I had 10 minutes to do this.

My friend drove me home and we noticed that I still had the needle in my arm from the blood test. I couldn’t drive after all the pain killers so my friend drove me to the outpatients unit at Kalgoorlie Hospital. I showed them the thing in my arm and they asked how that got there. I told them I was discharged from the hospital with it still in there. They said I shouldn’t have been discharged with that in my arm. I told them everything that happened and they just shook their head. They said they were going to make an incident report about it because it was not right. They told me to make a report too.

I talked to another nurse who told me that the hospital staff probably treated me that way because they thought I was a drug user as the pain killers weren’t working. I felt as if the staff were glaring at me the whole time while I was at the hospital.

I am going back to the doctor but I don't want to be referred back to Kalgoorlie Hospital.


Response from Peter Tredinnick, A/Regional Director, Regional Office, WACHS Goldfields

picture of Peter Tredinnick

Hello aquilagz54

Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry the staff were unhelpful or aggressive, such behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and does not reflect the values of our organisation.

As for discharging you with a cannula still in your arm, I can only apologise and say again that we will look into this and ensure the staff are reminded to follow procedures for discharge such as checking to ensure cannulas are removed prior to patients leaving.

I am pleased other nurses have advised you to complain and will take the matter forward themselves by completing an incident report.

If you would like to contact Dr Robert Pegram, A/Regional Director Medical Services on 9080 5804 or Robert.Pegram@health.wa.gov.au to provide your contact details, he will be able to thoroughly review your case and advise you of the outcome.

Kind regards

Peter Tredinnick

A/Regional Director

WACHS Goldfields

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