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"Public hospital emergency department"

About: St George Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

I was brought to St George Hospital in an ambulance after collapsing face-first on my tiled kitchen floor on a weeknight. My parents called an ambulance as I was out cold and had never fainted or collapsed previously and thought it best I got checked out. I am fully covered by HCF at the highest cover tier and the ED team took my HCF details. 

Upon arriving at emergency in the evening I had a deep cut on my chin and above my brow as my skin had split on impact and required stitches. I also couldn't chew as there was tremendous tension and pain in my jaw. In my opinion, the Ambulance crew were lovely, checking my vitals etc at home and en route to the hospital. 

I felt the ED Dr was very odd, I believe they kept trying to convince me I had a heart attack. I am a mature adult. I had a chest/heart x-ray and my head and jaw CT. I understand that everything showed that I was fine. The nurse gave me a hydration drip and a blood test. Everything was fine with my blood tests. But the Dr kept insisting I may have had a heart attack.

They said I needed to stay to see a cardiologist but there wasn't one available right now and that I required stitches. I said (and requested many times) I wish to be transferred to St George private. I believe the doctor lied about the time frame re the stitches and only did them 6 hours later when I said I'm leaving to get my GP to do it, and there is no point in me staying here if the cardiologist wasn't available right now to do the ultrasound. They then kept going on about it may have been a heart attack. That panicked my parent who was with me, and insisted I waited for the cardiologist.  

Several hours later, mid-morning the next day, a visiting cardiologist doing the rounds told me I would have to stay two more days as there was no one to do the ultrasound. This is something I believe I should have been told 12 hours earlier. I said I would like to move to the Private hospital. The cardiologist said there wouldn't be anyone there on the weekend either. So I requested to be discharged as I said I will book my own Cardiologist as a private paying patient, at my preferred hospital. I felt they then tried to upsell a cardiologist to me. I politely refused as I wanted to choose my own. I insisted to be discharged. 

Then, not long after, all of a sudden, a nurse appears & checks my temperature claiming it was very high (despite being normal for the other 10 checks) and that I would need to get tested for covid immediately. And they moved me into another section. The only upside to this was that at least where they moved me the bathrooms were cleaned. The ED bathrooms had no soap or even shower gel, there were faeces all over the toilet, and the was blood on the sink. I felt this was disgusting, especially since we are in a pandemic. 

Once moved, they told me I might need to wait 12 hours for the result. At this point, I got very annoyed as I believe I was being held against my will. I firmly said I will be leaving. Funnily enough, when my temperature was tested again it was normal. I left the hospital midday that day. 

Two days later, I received a call from a St George affiliated cardiologist who tried to book me an appointment as a private patient. I was very annoyed my number was given without my permission, especially as I explicitly stated I wanted to choose my own specialists. Even after turning down the cardiologist, about a week later I received a text from the cardiologist confirming an appointment that I never made! It was absurd. 

I am fortunate to be able to choose my treating doctors, and the excellent cardiologist from another private hospital ran several diagnostics and said there is absolutely no indication of a heart attack and everything is fine.

What wasn't fine however was my stitches, they got infected. My GP gave me a course of antibiotics as well as the antibiotic ointment Bactrim to get rid of the infection I caught in that, I believe, filthy ED.

I would also like to add that I believe I could have gone to St George private as I understand they have over 240 beds and 24/7 cardio diagnostic services 7 days a week. So, I believe I was being lied to be kept in the public part of the hospital. 

St George hospital was definitely the worst experience in healthcare I have received my entire life. In my opinion, it was terrible and I believe reflects poorly on NSW Health.

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Responses

Response from Paul Darcy, General Manager, St George Hospital 3 months ago
Paul Darcy
General Manager,
St George Hospital

General Manager of St George Hospital

Submitted on 03/09/2021 at 09:22
Published on Care Opinion at 09:22


Dear cygnusjk67,

Thank you for your feedback about your recent experience in our Emergency Department. I was saddened to read that you felt the care that was provided to you was inadequate and that we did not communicate clearly enough with you about the next steps in your assessment and management.

It certainly sounds like you were quite injured from your fall. This likely made the treating nurses and doctors concerned about the possibility of a serious medical condition. It is very likely that staff were very worried that your heart may have contributed to you falling.

I am very sorry that you felt we were trying to convince you that you had suffered a heart attack but this would have been a very serious concern for the Emergency Department staff. Our main aim is to ensure your safety, and this could have contributed to staff being hesitant to transfer you to another hospital. I understand the frustration this must have caused you.

Our aim is to provide the highest level of care to all our patients, and I was very disappointed that this was not your experience.

I would appreciate the opportunity to investigate your experience in our Emergency Department further and would encourage you to reach out to our Patient Experience Manager, on 9113 2687.

I do hope that you are recovering well and I was pleased to hear that your cardiology follow up gave you the all clear.

Your sincerely,

Paul

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Update posted by cygnusjk67 (the patient)

Hello Paul,

I would love to follow this up. My experience was terrible, and I felt many things that happened could have been avoided.

What is the best way to contact you via email?

Response from Paul Darcy, General Manager, St George Hospital 2 months ago
Paul Darcy
General Manager,
St George Hospital

General Manager of St George Hospital

Submitted on 05/10/2021 at 15:10
Published on Care Opinion at 15:10


Dear cygnusjk67,

Thank you for your response. We would be happy to follow this up with you.

The best way to contact me is through our Clinical Practice Improvement Unit, email SESLHD-STG-ConsumerFeedback@health.nsw.gov.au

Kind regards

Paul

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