"Care of my young child requiring stitches."

About: Broome Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as a parent/guardian),

I attended Broome Hospital ED with my very young child in the early hours of the morning after he had fallen out of bed, striking his head on the floor resulting in a considerable laceration. 

Triage staff, and nursing staff were fantastic, and very prompt to ask after seeing the high level of anxiety my child -  was the experience at the potential for needing needles and stitches. I was approached by the doctor who advised that my child would in fact require sutures. I asked regarding some light sedation due to my child's high anxiety- by this point my child was crying, grinding their teeth and screaming. I felt the doctor implied that I was drug seeking and made me feel foolish for requesting this and advised that only numbing cream would be used. When I questioned this further citing examples of my other child being sedated for a much smaller injury, I was passed off and told that if I really wanted to put my child through that I would have to come back tomorrow. No explanation was given as to why some sedation would not be provided. 

Given the nature of the injury (head / face wound), and the bleeding I didn't feel that returning the following day was an option. The sutures were eventually completed with my child screaming throughout most of the procedure (wrapped in a blanket and held down). I found it to be quite traumatic, not only for my young child but for myself also. Having spoken to other medical professionals since this event, they do not understand why a small volume of intra-nasal fentanyl (or equivalent sedation) wasn't provided. My child is now frightened and attending for the suture removal was equally traumatic.


Response from Wendy McKinley, Operations Manager, Broome Hospital 2 years ago
Wendy McKinley
Operations Manager,
Broome Hospital
Submitted on 03/05/2018 at 10:17
Published on Care Opinion at 10:19

picture of Wendy McKinley

Dear concernedparent2018

Thank you for your post regarding your child's recent presentations to the Broome Emergency Department. This feedback is important as it provides us an opportunity to improve the service itself, as well as the experience of patients and carers accessing the service.

The situation you describe is concerning to me, also, and I would like to be able to look into your case and work with the team to ensure others do not come away from the Emergency Department feeling the way you and your child do.

To that end, if you could contact me on 08 9194 2855, I would be very grateful.

Again, thank you for your post. I hope to speak with you soon.


Wendy McKinley

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