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"Getting shoulder pain under control"

About: Cabrini Hospital - Malvern

(as the patient),

Felt excruciating shoulder pain recently. Presented to emergency that night because no other services opened that night. Spent 3 hours in emergency, diagnosed with shoulder muscle pain, and was prescribed stronger pain killers, which we had to source ourselves once we left the hospital late at night.

When I arrived at triage, I told them I had 10/10 pain. When I left the hospital I told them my pain was 8/10. Disappointed to be discharged and sent home still with that level of pain, and not be able to get a script at that time of night.

36 hours later things had deteriorated. I then presented to my GP who called an ambulance to send me back to the hospital. This time I was seen immediately by the doctor and full blood tests were taken. They also tried to get my pain under control. Later that day I was told the inflammation blood count was extremely high and I was to be admitted immediately. They also called an infectious disease specialist to review me because people did not really know what was wrong with me.

I was transferred to the dementia ward. That evening my pain was still not under control, and my fever was really high. My spouse was getting wet washes to put on my forehead because the nurse drifted in and out of the ward. When my spouse left they were very anxious about who was going to watch me to ensure that I was in good care because I couldn't speak nor could I push the buzzer if I needed help.

Another nurse did come on at the change of shift and they took better control of my situation, changing my drenched gown from the high fever sweat.

For the next few days the staff tried to get my pain under control but it was never really managed well during this time. We were advised a few days later that I had golden staph. There were lots of tests that followed.

What was frustrating was that we were told that there was a collection of pus within the muscle, and therefore I was to be put on the theatre list for the next day. My spouse rushed around at home to get to me in time, but then called to say they had postponed the operation. My spouse was quite annoyed by this. After 4 days my pain was still not under control. My spouse questioned this and then things seemed to change from this point in terms of managing my pain. That afternoon the weekend doctor came and my spouse felt much better because they explained things much better. There were students too which made things more understandable.

At this point I was moved from my ward to another ward where I seemed more heard and acknowledged. The whole stay was a couple of weeks, but it wasn't until about day 6 when I was in a comfortable place with my pain.

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Response from Cabrini Health 8 years ago
Submitted on 25/09/2015 at 4:59 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 5:02 PM

Dear goldenduck,

I was sorry to hear that the first 6 days of your stay in Cabrini Malvern were unsatisfactory.

At all Cabrini facilities we endeavour to provide an excellent quality of care and a positive patient experience and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter further with you. We understand you may wish to remain anonymous but should you wish to discuss your concerns further please feel free to contact me on 9508 1661 or email to Your experience will help us to understand how to do it better next time.

Kind Regards

Customer Relations Manager, Cabrini Health

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Update posted by goldenduck (the patient)

Thanks for your reply. I phoned and left a message with Customer Relations as suggested. However, it's been a few months now and I have yet to hear from them. I'm keen for you to understand my main issue with the whole process which was being sent home early when I presented to emergency. The nurses were aware of my high pain rating 3 hours after I presented. What would have helped me was more investigation of what was causing the pain rather than being dismissive of my condition, particularly the GP on duty. I wondered whether I was not being admitted due to the way the fee process is structured.

Response from Care Opinion Australia 8 years ago
Submitted on 6/01/2016 at 10:48 AM
Published on Care Opinion at 10:49 AM

This response has been posted by Patient Opinion on behalf of Cabrini Hospital.

Dear goldenduck,

Thank you for replying to our post on Patient Opinion and alerting us to your message.

I have discussed this with our team and unfortunately we do not have a record of your message being received. We endeavour to acknowledge all complaints within a short time frame and we are extremely apologetic that this did not occur in your case. Please do not hesitate to call me on (03) 9508 1661 or e-mail so as we can investigate your concerns further and address any additional queries you may have.

Kind regards,

Angela Doherty, Customer Relations Manager.

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