"Poor Treatment at the Broome Hospital Emergency Department"

About: Broome Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I recently went to the Broome Hospital Emergency Department after being involved in an accident. I felt I experienced really poor treatment and feel the communication was appalling.

Upon seeing the triage nurse and explaining where I was injured and in pain, she wanted me to take my shirt off so she could see. I asked her if could have some privacy as I am a bit overweight and uncomfortable about taking my shirt off in front of a waiting room filled with people. I explained this to her. She brought me into the back only to lift my shirt up in front of the window of the waiting room where everyone could see anyway.

When I was finally seen by the doctor, I felt he had no bedside manner what so ever, he seemed hurried, rude and kept cutting me off when I was trying to answer his questions and dismissive of when I was trying to give him some of my medical history that might impact my treatment.

I felt his physical assessment was rough and invasive, he grabbed my foot and squeezed it hard stating that you’re just worried because of the colour. The immediate pain I felt made me gasp from the touch as my foot was purple from the bruising due to the accident. I could not take a deep breath from my ribs and my arm was deformed and I could not straighten it.

After examining me he sent me to have an x-ray. I could hardly get out of the bed and instead of offering help or assistance like a wheelchair, I had to walk the whole length of the ED to the x-ray department as he walked over 10 metres ahead of me. He then handed the x-ray request to the department and left without a word.

After my x-rays were taken I was told that I would have to go back out to the waiting area to be called again for the doctor to have a look at them. I advised the x-ray staff that I can hardly walk and that doctor did not leave any instructions and having to return to the waiting area was unreasonable. I was escorted back to the ED and placed back in the bed I had been in, waiting for the doctor to return from lunch as he left no notes for the attending staff in his absence as to what was to be done.

On his return I felt his demeanour changed as he apparently realised that my foot was indeed broken and that it also appeared that I had 2 fractured ribs. I asked him about my arm, that it was very painful and I couldn’t straighten it and advised that he would be in touch once the x-rays had been seen by the specialist. He said if it continued to bother me to follow up with my GP. He put me in a moon boot, gave me crutches and told me it would take 4 weeks to heal and sent me on my way with a script for pain management.

What the ED doctor seemly missed was the fact that my elbow and wrist were also fractured. After a week of suffering, trying to use crutches, my arm became deformed and swollen and the pain became worse, I followed up with my GP who was able to track down the ED x-rays and that’s how it was discovered, I was then sent to the fracture clinic for follow up and treatment, which the ED doctor never even mentioned. I'm not aware that the ED doctor had followed up with results nor had there been any discharge summary forwarded to my GP. It took over a week to have my arm properly treated and the fact he gave me crutches only exacerbated the fractures.

Responses

Response from Holly Hanna, acting Broome Operations manager, Management, WACHS

Dear fractured

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this feedback. I apologise that the treatment you received was not to the standard you expect (and we all expect) from the Emergency Department.

I would like to specifically follow up on your treatment with our Senior Medical Officer and Clinical Nurse Manager so that they can investigate and provide you with direct feedback. Could you please contact our Broome Executive Assistant on broome.executiveassistant@health.wa.gov.au or 91942855 to provide us with details so that this can occur.

Regards

Holly

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

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