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"Distressing treatment of my infant"

About: Gatton Health Service Ipswich Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

In the late hours of the night, my baby was very sick so I took them to the Emergency Department of Gatton Hospital. We were seen by a nurse and they began treating my child. Immediately I felt as though they were treating me as though I couldn't understand what was happening. I feel as though they assumed that because I was wearing my headscarf, that I could not speak English well. After quite a while of my child just being treated by the nurse, I asked where the doctor is. The nurse stated that they were busy. At this point my infant began vomiting blood. Obviously this was very concerning and distressing and I asked again when they were going to get the doctor. They again said that the doctor was too busy and that they were not going to get them. The nurse said that I needed to give my baby fluid - milk and warm water. I called my spouse to bring these with him from home. My spouse arrived and at this point the doctor would still not see my child, so my spouse and I made the difficult decision to leave this hospital for Ipswich Hospital.

As soon as we arrived at Ipswich Hospital we were questioned as to why we had left Gatton Hospital. I felt as though they wanted to punish me and that they did not want to treat my child. At this point it was the early hours of the next morning. The nurse stated that my child was okay, as they weren't crying. This was because my infant was in and out of consciousness. They were pale and not moving. This was extremely distressing for both me, my spouse and our other young child. We feared that we were going to lose our child. This felt like a repeat of Gatton Hospital because again the doctor would not come to see us. After waiting for 3 hours, the doctor finally came to see our child. They immediately started treating my child and put in a cannula. My child was admitted that day, and we ended up staying overnight, before being released the next day.

It concerns me very much what happened here. We genuinely believed that we were going to lose our infant. What worries me the most is that I was able to communicate with the hospital staff as I am able to speak English fluently, however others that are not able to would be absolutely lost if the same thing had happened to them. I sincerely hope that this is looked into, to ensure that this type of experience never happens again.

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Response from Sandy Lewis, Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance, Queensland Health - West Moreton 6 years ago
Sandy Lewis
Senior Consumer Liaison Officer, Clinical Governance,
Queensland Health - West Moreton
Submitted on 25/05/2017 at 4:52 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 4:53 PM

Dear distressed parent,

It is every parent’s nightmare to be scared for the life of their child and we are sincerely sorry you and your family experienced such distress.

We want to assure you that we embrace the multicultural community of Gatton and everyone is welcome at Gatton Hospital. All patients and families who come into the hospital will be provided with the care they need and will be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Although we always aim to provide the best patient care possible, we acknowledge at times we can do better and there are always opportunities for improvements. As such, we would like to speak with you further about your experience and offer assistance.

If you would like to make contact, you can call the Consumer Liaison Service on 0409275503 or email at Please be assured this offer is genuine and we would welcome your call.

We really hope your little one is feeling better and we wish you and your family good health for the future.

Yours sincerely

Consumer Liaison Office

West Moreton Hospital and Health Service

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