"Maternity Iron Infusion at Esperance Hospital"

About: Esperance Health Campus / Maternity care

(as the patient),

Recently I was given an IV for Iron as I am 32 weeks pregnant, very low in iron and symptomatic. 

I was booked in with the midwives for the infusion which was set to take up to 3hrs.

A midwife new to the Esperance Hospital performed the procedure. After two failed cannula attempts at my right wrist (due to blunt cannula’s not piercing the skin) a cannula was inserted into my elbow crease on my left arm.

Not long into the infusion the midwife checked upon me and I asked if my arm which had been kept straight & resting on a pillow should be numb. As someone who has a high pain tolerance, I let her know that it was very uncomfortable. She suggested moving my wrist & arm as it might have just fallen asleep. Once I had moved my wrist, I had pain in my shoulder joint - I couldn’t ignore it, my upper arm was swollen & tight (rock hard) and my arm felt like it wanted to shoot off from the side of my body. The midwife checked the side effects etc & turned off the IV calling my doctor. It was decided to discontinue the Iron infusion as I was having a reaction.

I was observed for half an hour, BP, Doppler, swelling and feeling - before being let go home.

That night as the swelling started to disappear, a yellow tinge started to appear above & below where the cannula had been inserted. The arm became more sore and heavy into the night, aching. At first I thought maybe it was bruising. By morning the discolouration had spread to a larger area, further up, down & around my arm, it was now darker more of a light brown colour. I was mortified as it no longer looked like bruising but like a stain in my tissue. 

I had gone in for the iron infusion as recommended by my doctor, for what I believed was a routine procedure. Never did I think that I would be dealing with an Iron stain that may never disappear!

This should be explicitly stated before giving patients an iron infusion so that they can decide if this is something they’re prepared to live with.

The administration should be required to be administered by the highest qualified so that the risk of missing a vein or being inserted incorrectly.

I’m very upset with the outcome, this is not what I had gone in for.


Response from Geraldine Ennis, Regional Director, WACHS - Goldfields

picture of Geraldine Ennis

Dear Pregnant Esperance Patient,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding our service. It is disappointing to read about your experience and it is important that we address your concerns as a matter of urgency.

To assist us in implementing improvements in our service, I would appreciate if you could contact Carla Jones, Director of Nursing on 9079 8161 during office hours.

Please accept my apology that our service has not met your needs. We are looking forward to meeting with you and thank you for your assistance to improve our service.

Kind regards

Geraldine M Ennis PSM

Regional Director

WACHS Goldfields

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