"Pneumonia treatment at Emergency Department"

About: Angliss Hospital / Emergency Department Box Hill Hospital

(as the patient),

I was admitted to the Angliss Hospital a while ago and travelled to hospital at least 5 times by ambulance. I felt weak, dizzy, tired, had fevers, sensitivity to light, headaches and had a lot of back pain. I had X-rays taken and blood tests to which the doctors told me I had a high white blood cell count and nothing visibly wrong with my back and chest. Each visit I was told I had a virus, was given pain killers and sent home. My symptoms got worse each visit.

On my second last visit to the Angliss a doctor took an X-ray of my chest and it revealed I had mycoplasma pneumoniae and that on my first X-ray there was a growth but the doctors just saw it as a virus. I spent the night there, given oral antibiotics and pain killers, and then sent home with antibiotics and pain killers.

The following evening I started throwing up everywhere. Another trip in an ambulance - this is the only time I felt Angliss Hospital actually took my symptoms seriously. I was put on intravenous fluids and intravenous antibiotics. I had a spinal tap while at the Angliss because of my sensitivity to light and fears I may have meningitis. I spent a couple of days at the Angliss given intravenous antibiotics and intravenous fluids and pain killers.

I was then transferred to the Box Hill Hospital where I had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan which the doctors told me revealed nothing. I still had sensitivity to light and a lot of back and nerve pain. While there, as I have bipolar, a psychiatrist was sent in to see me and offered me anti-psychotic drugs. I was appalled and hurt because I’m stable on my medication. I was in hospital for pain and sickness and it felt as if the doctor didn’t believed the pain I was going through. I had painful ears and a sore throat which Box Hill Hospital saw nothing wrong with.

After leaving the hospital with all my meds I went and saw a local doctor. I was given a puffer to help with my breathing and more antibiotics because I had sinusitis, an ear infection and tonsillitis. I am still recovering from pneumonia and am very tired all the time. My family and friends who watched me go through this experience are very hurt and appalled at my treatment by the doctors. I will be forever hurt by this experience as I was very sick, but no doctor at the Angliss seem to notice my symptoms or care and Box Hill Hospital just put me in the category of bipolar only.

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Responses

Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear feeling hurt

I was very concerned to read of your experience at the Angliss and Box Hill Hospitals and would like to follow this up as a matter of priority. We take your concerns very seriously.
If you could email me directly on david.plunkett@easternhealth.org.au with some details, I would like to reassure you that we will look into your care and get back in touch with you following our investigation.

I am sorry that in this instance we have not provided the high standard of care that our staff pride themselves on and once again, encourage you to contact me.

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. Your feedback enables us to review and improve the care that we provide.

Kind Regards

David

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Response from David Plunkett, Chief Executive, Eastern Health

picture of David Plunkett

Dear feeling hurt

Again, thank you for raising your concerns with me regarding your care at both the Angliss and Box Hill Hospitals.

Your feedback provided us with the opportunity to not only review the care you received, but to look for improvements in the care we provide to all our patients.

Eastern Health has a Patient and Family Care Standard that we expect our staff to work towards. Within this, is an expectation that staff communicate in a clear way with patients and their families/carers and in a manner that assists the patient to understand and manage their own health, as independently as possible. We also expect communication to be open and responsive to the individual needs of each patient. From your experience, this standard was not met and I apologise to you for this. We will take this opportunity to remind our staff of the importance of ensuring that we place ourselves in the patient shoes and be open, honest and respectful in our interactions with all our patients.

We have sent a letter to you with information regarding our investigation into your care. I encourage you to contact the Patient Relations Advisor as detailed in the letter on 1800 327 837 should you have any further concerns.

Kind regards

David

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