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"Waiting too long for surgery with acute appendicitis"

About: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital / Surgical Services

(as the patient),

I presented to my hospital day 1 with pain and was admitted late afternoon on a weekday. Dr's diagnosed acute appendicitis on CT scan and arranged RFDS flight to Perth for Surgery. Flight to Perth was delayed due to other emergencies and finally made it to SCGH early evening the next day. At this stage I felt the care by Dr's in my town and RFDS staff were absolutely amazing. Gowned and ready for surgery and moved to a ward at SCGH later that evening and told surgery will be in the morning. However, I did not have surgery for my acute appendicitis until early afternoon two days later - 3 days after being admitted to hospital. The appendix had turned gangrene and had  "exploded" and my entire right illiac fossa was filled with puss. Post surgery I had an ileus of the bowel and gastric nasal tube due to non-stop vomiting. I did not eat for 8 days. I was told by the surgeon I was a very very lucky person. 

When I asked during the wait time why I kept being moved down the surgery list I understand I was advised the other people were more urgent than me with their, I believe,  broken knees and broken wrists. My Dr in my town could not believe they made me wait so long as they had a diagnosis and I am lucky that I did not die from the sepsis in my abdomen. I understand acute appendicitis needs to treated immediately. When I read my discharge summary I was horrified at what had happened to me as I felt no one really explained anything other than to say that I was very unwell. 


Response from Janet Zagari, Executive Director, Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group 2 weeks ago
Janet Zagari
Executive Director,
Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group
Submitted on 23/04/2021 at 13:48
Published on Care Opinion at 13:49

picture of Janet Zagari

Dear Summerdays,

Please accept my sincere apologies for your experience whilst an inpatient at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and for the delay in getting you to theatre for the surgery you needed. I have been informed that the demand for urgent surgery has been higher than in previous years which may have impacted on the timeliness of obtaining the operation you required.

I have been advised by Surgical Services that all patients requiring emergency surgery are prioritised in accordance within the recommended time frames for waiting which are monitored to safeguard patient outcomes. Care Opinion is an anonymous platform and I would really like the opportunity to fully investigate the issues you have raised regarding the delay in receiving the urgent surgery you required. I would appreciate it if you could please call the Consumer Liaison Service on 0864572867 or email to provide us with the information we require to look at the care you received at SCGH.

I am so sorry that you experienced complications following the surgery and that you did not feel as if we had explained them to you whilst you were in our care. It must have been difficult to read about them on your discharge summary and not being able to have the questions answered by the Clinicians involved in your care. We are committed to communicating more effectively and it is through getting feedback from our patients we can continue to improve.

I do hope you are continuing to recover from your surgery.

Kind regards

Janet Zagari

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