Painful procedure

(as the patient),


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About: Royal Perth Hospital

I feel quite traumatised after this recent experience. I arrived early morning and did all the prep work and then was taken to the x-ray surgery three and a half hours later. There was an emergency and my procedure was then delayed another three hours.

I was placed onto the bed for the surgery procedure, my right arm had a blood pressure machine hooked to it, and my left arm had cannula and an instrument to monitor my heart rate. To insert the device in my chest I had to turn my neck to the left and then a shroud was put over my face with a hole cut out with my eyes and face pointing to the left of the room. As part of this procedure they gave me sedation and inserted local anaesthesia in the area to carry out the procedure.   Because I was receiving sedation I was also to wear an oxygen mask. 

The doctor performing the procedure advised when they was inserting the local anaesthesetic but did not ask when they started the procedure if anything hurt or if I was okay. There was no one on the left side of the bed that I could communicate to about what I was feeling. I could feel the pain for the insertion of the device in the chest and then could also feel stitches being inserted. I tried to yell out but my voice was muffled and I was becoming emotional and started to cry. One of the doctors moved to the left side to help the surgeon and I was able to then motion to them that I was feeling everything.

They advised the surgeon I could feel and then the surgeon's response was that they were sorry. They put in more local anaesthetic and continued on with stitching yet again not checking if I was not feeling anything after the additional medication. After the procedure I was taken into recovery - neither doctor came to check on me and I felt as if I was just a piece of meat on the table - my physical and emotional hurt was not even acknowledged.    

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Response from Lesley Bennett, Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group

picture of Lesley Bennett

Dear Tyche,

Please accept my deepest apology for what must have been a painful and frightening experience and for the lack of support and care that you experienced afterwards. It sounds far from the standard of care we strive to deliver. While it can be normal to experience some sensation during procedures, what you describe here sounds like it was unusually painful.

Medical procedures can be distressing experiences which is why it is important that staff deliver compassionate care and support to patients. It seems you feel that we have failed on this occasion to provide this.

I would encourage you to contact our Consumer Engagement Unit on 9224 1637 so we can apologise to you in person, review your treatment and understand why this happened to you as well as use your case to learn how we can improve how we provide patient centred care.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Lesley Bennett
Executive Director
Royal Perth Bentley Group

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