"Seems to be a lack of values and duty of care."
Posted by Concerned mother (as ),
My daughter had an operation at the Angliss Hospital toward the end of last year. The operation involved removal of benign tumours & her left ovary. We have been informed that her urethra was damaged during the surgery. I do not know the exact damage; however she has since had to undergo a further operation to reconstruct her urethra and bladder. She will need to have a stent removed down the track.
During the first surgery at Angliss my daughter endured immense pain and there appeared to be conflict between the recovery staff and the ward staff. I believe it was because Recovery wanted the Ward to receive my daughter from recovery knowing her pain was unbearable. Ward staff explained to my husband & myself that they were not comfortable with her returning to the ward until her pain subsided & was better controlled. I may add & rightly so. The nurses are busy enough without having to deal with a patient who obviously was not well enough to return to the ward.
When my daughter finally arrived in the ward she was still in pain and this was treated with Morphine & other medications in an effort to relieve her pain. I am unsure of exact dosages and what medications, however you will be able to determine these from her medical records.
My daughter was discharged the next day from Angliss Hospital. After arriving at the hospital I found her in the transit lounge still in pain, nauseous and extremely sleepy. I asked for a bag for her to be sick in and this was brought to her by a staff member. I questioned at the time if she was in a position to return home
Upon returning to home my daughter experienced bouts of uncontrollable pain that even the medications she was provided did not subside. Later that night she became very ill and her temperature was rising as well as being in pain.
I called for an ambulance and she was taken back to Angliss and once again back in the ward. The next day I received a call from a gynaecologist who then explained there had been damage done to my daughter’s bladder during the surgery and she needed another operation but she needed to be transferred to Box Hill hospital for this.
The second operation was performed the next day and I picked her up from hospital five days later around midday. She was sent home with a catheter and as I am not a nurse I had no idea on how to care for this. I rang the Royal District Nursing Association who then told me that if we needed their assistance it needed to have been organised via her discharge from Box Hill. This was not done so after some floundering I eventually got the hang of it by reading the instruction booklet, but I believe as her primary carer I too should have been given a demonstration on how to change the catheter.
Lastly every time I called to check how my daughter was recovering whilst at Box Hill I was always cut off...the phone always rang out. I never once got to check...I never spoke to a staff member by phone. I question this as a parent I should have been able to speak to a staff member regarding my daughter’s well-being.
There have been a number of issues that I am concerned about and I believe need to be addressed, these are:
1. My daughter should never have been discharged from the Angliss as she was in pain, nauseous & unwell. Surely an indicator that something was seriously amiss!
2. This damage to her bladder has been devastating for her & us as a family.
3. No phone communication from nursing staff when I rang as the phone rang out.
4. There appears to be a shortage of staff? Why are there not more ward clerks?
5. I am not the sort of nuisance person who makes complaints just for the sake of it.
6. I am very disturbed at how my daughter has been treated and I feel angry she has had to endure so much pain and an operation that went so terribly wrong!
I suggest the issues I have pointed out require investigation & rectifying to avoid further insult & pain to others.
I also hope you take note of the staffing in your hospitals and that more thought is put into place regarding the discharge of patients.
I also believe that there is too much assuming & judgements made regarding a person’s pain tolerance. My daughter has a high tolerance for pain & this was stated often to staff. Her pleas that something is wrong went unheard; she was not being listened to.
I do wish to compliment the surgeons and the team at Box Hill for their wonderful response to my daughter’s situation and for the care that was shown to her during her recovery in the ward.
Dr. Brad was particularly sensitive to my daughter’s situation and his explanation, empathy and reassurance regarding her surgery was much appreciated.
My daughter was scared, unwell to respond fully & he alleviated her fears to a certain extent which was very important for her well-being in regards to having to go through more surgery to rectify the damage done to her urethra.
My daughter endured pain & has been emotionally compromised. Quite honestly I feel her whole being was compromised. I am personally worried about my daughter’s future now as a result of the urethral damage.
It is not easy for any parent looking on and feeling helpless in the knowledge that her child was not cared for appropriately.
Every patient has the right to feel safe & listened to and cared for.
I do hope you can understand our grief in this situation.