Poor medical treatment of a young child

(as a relative),

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About: Kalgoorlie Health Campus / Emergency Department

I would like to let you know my grandchild had a bad experience in the Emergency Department (ED) recently. My adult child had brought my young grandchild, who had an abscess on their inner arm. 

My child was told by a doctor to bring my grandchild to ED and followed the doctor's advice. I believe my grandchild needed to be sedated to get the incision and drainage of their abscess.

My child was not happy with how this was done:

1. The clinician gave my grandchild something to relax them (didn’t work)

2. The clinician proceeded to squeeze the abscess

3. The clinician kept squeezing while my grandchild was still alert, screaming and very stressed.

4. The clinician just kept on squeezing although a nurse had told them that it wasn’t right.

5. My child was asked to hold my grandchild down while they were in this stressed state.

6. After all this was done, the clinician gave my grandchild antibiotics, bandaged their inner arm and sent them home.

My child then came over to me at another part of the hospital and told me what had happened. I question how the clinician could allow a young child to go through that sort of pain.

I would also like to ask where is the duty of care to a young child. Now I believe my own child is too frightened to bring my grandchild back to the hospital for further treatment as they feel their child is too scared to come back.

I would also like to say I am not happy with how my grandchild was treated, they were awake while this was going on. Remember they are a young child. 

I am not happy. I hope this never happens to another child.

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Responses to this story

Response from Peter Tredinnick, A/Regional Director, Regional Office, WACHS Goldfields

picture of Peter Tredinnick

Dear leoth58,

Thank you for taking the time to share the story and experience of your child and grandchild at Kalgoorlie Hospital.

Can I say how very sorry we are that we have in any way caused additional stress at what must have been an already distressing time both for your child and grandchild.

We have spoken with the staff involved in your grandchild’s care and the treating clinician genuinely regrets that your grandchild’s care and treatment was painful and has now caused them to feel frightened about coming back to the hospital.

We can learn a great deal from your story and we will be sharing this with all staff to remind them that caring for children and young people who are unwell and vulnerable requires particular sensitivity, compassion and kindness each and every time.

If you or your child would like to talk about this experience, please do not hesitate to contact Mr David Bowdidge who is the Operations Manager at Kalgoorlie Hospital. David can be contacted on 90805817

Again, please accept our sincere apologies.

Kind Regards

Peter Tredinnick

A/Regional Director

WACHS Goldfields

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