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"An awful ordeal for my teenage son at Canberra Hospital"

About: Canberra Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

Recently I took my son to the emergency dept at The Canberra Hospital and he was seen promptly and was diagnosed with appendicitis, he was in a lot of pain and given strong pain killers, we were told he needed surgery and later he was transferred to a holding ward. 13 hours later we were informed that he had been "bumped" and not having his operation as there was no theatre and staff available due to other priorities, I was very angry and upset for my son. The next morning I expected he would be first as he had been delayed already but we were told they hoped to do it today but no promises due to other priorities. I was taught appendicitis was an emergency!

4pm that day he was moved to Day surgery and eventually at 8: 30pm he went for his operation. On removal of the appendix it perforated so now he would need 2-7 days of IV antibiotics. He remained in day surgery. Two days after his operation he was in lots of pain, an extended abdomen and now a temperature of 39. I asked for an ultrasound as I suspected pus in his abdominal cavity, I was ignored but eventually they agreed to do the next morning. It showed fluid and pus so my poor son had to go back to theatre for a second operation to clear out the fluid and pus and had a drain put in for 2 days. He was moved to a ward after the second operation to find he had to share with a female patient which I feel was totally unacceptable.

I feel very strongly about the fact that if the operation had not been delayed he would not have had complications.

In the long run it has cost the hospital more money and by not opening another theatre, my son had 2 operations and 9 days in hospital.

The statistics do not appear to look at emergency waiting times.

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Response from Patient Opinion Australia 9 years ago
Submitted on 15/08/2013 at 9:45 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 9:46 AM

This response has been posted by Patient Opinion on behalf of ACT Health:

Dear Sheen,

ACT Health are concerned to hear about your son’s recent experience at The Canberra Hospital. We would like to further investigate this matter in more detail.

If possible please contact our consumer feedback and engagement team to discuss this matter further. You can contact consumer feedback on (02) 6207 7627, email or visit our website

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