"Discharged too early. Sent home with no diagnosis or follow up treatment."

About: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

My child was a passenger in a vehicle accident. Emergency Department were great. They put my child in a neck brace, arranged x-rays, treated their pain. As we were waiting to be admitted into the orthopaedic ward my child's arms began to spasm uncontrollably ( approximately 16 hours after accident occurred). The orthopaedic surgical and neurology team had never seen or heard of this happening before and did not know what it was so an MRI and EEG were done, but nothing showed up in the results. After 7 nights in hospital they said there was nothing more that could be done for my child and sent my child home telling us that they would get better faster at home. We have been at home for 2 weeks now and my child is still on the same pain treatment they were on at the hospital as their pain has not decreased. My child's arms are still spasming uncontrollably and they still cannot walk more than 30 metres. Our GP has been trying to find out when the pain specialist at PMH can see my child, but is having no luck. We are having to take care of my child 24/7  as my child is virtually bedridden. Why do they send a child home when they do not have a diagnosis?   Why does it take so long to get follow up treatment? Surely early intervention is better for a child's health? What do we do now? How do we get the treatment our child needs?  

Responses

Response from Victor Cheng, Executive Director, Health Service Managament

picture of Victor Cheng

Dear Dismayed

Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience at PMH. I am really sorry to hear that your child has been sent home without a diagnosis or a plan for follow up. This is a concern for us and I encourage you to contact our Child and Family Engagement Service so we can find out what’s happened and look at how we can assist you and your child further. The Child and Family Engagement Service can be contacted at PMHCLS@health.wa.gov.au or on 9340 8315.

Yours sincerely

Dr Victor Cheng

Executive Director

Princess Margaret Hospital for Children

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