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"My ED Experience"

About: Fiona Stanley Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I entered the Emergency Department at Fiona Stanley Hospital recently, after suffering an episode of a rapid heart rate, dizziness, nausea and loss of energy/headache and shortness of breath. I had called the helpline who told me to immediately go to the hospital and also a family member who was a health care professional who advised to head to the emergency department as I had in the past month, suffered SVT whilst interstate from an unknown cause. 

Upon entering the ED, I waited approximately an hour to be triaged, once I was triaged, my heart rate was still rapid and I was told to wait for an ECG. The ECG was then conducted and I was told to wait again for the doctor to review.  

The nurse then ushered me into a room and took a medical history, I advised them it gets worse when I stand up and they took my postural, as well as sitting blood pressure, BP standing systolic was almost 150 and my HR was still elevated, (I am a young adult and healthy). The doctor reviewed my ECG and advised that it was fine and I probably have SVT but they don’t know why. The doctor associated it with anxiety which I told them was under control. The doctor advised that my exhaustion and other symptoms weren't their problem and that was for my GP to figure out.

The doctor advised me they were going to discharge me (hadn’t looked at my obs) and I should get further investigations. They did not look at my clinical observations and I asked them if they looked at my blood pressure. The doctor then looked at my blood pressure and said I could have pots syndrome and that they will refer me to an outpatients clinic.

The doctor's attitude was extremely upsetting as I felt that they dismissed potential symptoms which could have been more serious and as a health care professional myself, I believe there was an extreme lack in the investigation.

The doctor advised that they will take blood tests and I can be discharged and they have provided no information on how to receive the blood test results. The doctor who took my blood did not also cross-reference my details when taking blood and left the room without having labelled it. I now apparently have to wait 4-6 weeks for a referral.

The doctor had finished their shift when they saw me and it felt like they were rushing to leave. I believe the right protocols were not put in place within my treatment which was extremely disappointing. If this were a AAA, pulmonary embolism or a more serious issue I believe this could have been fatal. I had also advised them that I had been on a few flights recently which was not taken into account. 

The lack of empathy with a patient can make you feel horrible, the doctor told me that when patients get frustrated that they tend to get pissed off, and I was only crying asking for them to help me get to the bottom of this.

I am saying this to ensure that patients get treated the right way, as they should never feel a burden or like they have done the wrong thing coming to the hospital. Thank you.


Response from Neil Doverty, Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, South Metropolitan Health Service 8 months ago
Neil Doverty
Executive Director, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group,
South Metropolitan Health Service
Submitted on 10/11/2020 at 15:11
Published on Care Opinion at 15:12

picture of Neil Doverty

Dear airzt98,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback regarding your recent attendance at the Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED).

I am sorry that our experience in ED did not reach your expectations. I agree – empathy does go a long way and I feel that for the most part, our staff are very caring and have empathetic attitudes. Therefore, situations such as yours do provide us with an opportunity to learn and improve. In order to learn from your specific attendance, may I respectfully ask that you contact our Patient and Family Liaison Team on 6152 4013 or via email (, in order to provide us with your full details and to enable us to look into the circumstances surrounding your presentation, alongside you.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Neil Doverty

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