"I didn't feel listened to and felt my surgery was too late."

About: Rockingham General Hospital / Emergency Department Rockingham General Hospital / Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) Rockingham General Hospital / Multi Stay Surgical Ward

(as the patient),

After visiting two separate GP's with a bite I presented at Rockingham General Hospital (RGH) for further care as my bite was not improving and an abscess was forming on my legs.

I was sent home with general antibiotics and was told it would heal on its own. 24 hours later after the infection spreading considerably down my leg I presented again at RGH and was seen by emergency staff. At this time I advised the nurse I have previously tested positive to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and had not been cleared, I was moved to the surgical ward after 3 hours where I stated to a second nurse I was sure I was still a carrier of MRSA. The nurse could not find this in my file so was told I must be mistaken.

I spent a further 48 hours on the ward on basic antibiotics waiting for surgery to drain the wound, over these 48 hours I told multiple nurses of the MRSA and was ignored, finally on the second day my antibiotics were changed to effectively treat MRSA. By this time my leg was severely infected and the wound had more than tripled in size. I was cancelled one day for surgery with emergencies coming in to the hospital and was then almost cancelled again on the second day due to further emergencies. I was the last patient of the day who was finally operated on.

The next day after seeing my wound I am beyond disgusted at the considerable hole in my leg from a simple spider bite. I am in severe pain and discomfort and have to remain at home for Silver Chain to visit my house daily for multiple weeks. If the surgery was completed in a reasonable time and antibiotics where given which where correct at the time of presentation to ED I would not have resulted in surgery so damaging on my leg.

I have children at home with minimal family help and am unable to walk or properly care for my children. I strongly believe RGH failed in their duty of care to provide reasonable health care in a timely manner.

Responses

Response from Kath Smith, Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Kath Smith

Dear hydruszr75,

I am sorry to hear of your experience at Rockingham General Hospital.

It is usual practice for the Emergency Department to prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics for insect bites, unfortunately the infection in your leg spread and required surgery. I am concerned to hear that you were not listened to regarding your previous MRSA infections, without knowing the particulars of your situation it is difficult to ascertain whether this affected your treatment. Therefore, I strongly urge you to contact the hospital’s consumer liaison department on 9599 4323 so that we can meet to discuss your care and the issues you have raised.

I hope that you are recovering well.

Kind regards,

Kath Smith

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Update posted by hydruszr75 (the patient)

Hi Kath,

I spoke to the infection control department at RGH today who were kind enough to advise that I could have been treated specifically for MRSA when I presented at RGH, when I told multiple staff I suspected I was a carrier, regardless of having this not being able to confirmed on your hospital system. I told multiple staff my family where all carriers and this was grounds enough to be treated specifically whilst waiting for results that can take up to 3 days!

I look forward to your reply. I have now spent the last days with a severe wound in my leg losing 4 days of income being unable to work and having to be at the mercy of silver chain daily dressings. My GP is beyond disgusted at the wound in my leg after my recent visit.

Response from Kath Smith, Executive Director, Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

picture of Kath Smith

Dear hydruszr75,

Thank you for the update.

The Infection Control team believe that you may have misunderstood the conversation that you had with them, as they state that the medical staff would normally wait for swab results prior to specifically prescribing anti-MRSA therapies.

As such, I would strongly recommend that you contact Ms Wendy Lee, Nursing Co-Director on 9599 4059, in order to arrange a meeting to discuss your care.

Kind regards,

Kath Smith

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