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"Got sick, bad experience"

About: Broome Health Campus Fitzroy Crossing Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

After presenting to ED at Fitzroy Crossing Hospital during the early hours of the morning a few weeks ago, I was given everything the ED could use to manage severe pain. Eight hours later I was discharged with no follow up required. Less than 6 hours later I returned to ED as the severe pain had returned. There were discussions about being flown to Broome Hospital with RFDS to have scans to assist in diagnosis of what the source of the pain was. Instead, my pain was managed at Fitzroy Hospital. I was in pain for over four hours before it was covered. During this time, I developed a fever, had raised white blood cell count, and blood in my urine. Antibiotics were withheld initially and I had to ask for it to be commenced as I was worried about infection.

I was told that I would be flying to Broome early the next day, then the afternoon. The plane was eventually sent for me, then diverted for another pick-up, where I could get on only if I was walking as there was no more room for a bed on board. The flight to Broome happened during the early hours of the following day and I had to call my partner to tell them that I was flying out as I believe no one else did.

After being withheld food and water for 24 hours, additional scans were completed at mid-morning that day. It turned out I only had to abstain from food 2 hours before the scan and had to drink water in the hour before the test. This was not explained to me at Fitzroy Hospital as they kept me nil by mouth.

Hearing clinicians I believe, talk about getting drunk the night before on 2 bottles of gin and currently being at work hungover at Broome Hospital, comparing hangover cures, did nothing to make me feel at ease. During my stay, I believe I heard staff discussing that the bed I was in was needed by someone else. At this stage, l was not aware of what was causing my severe pain, which was still being managed.

I understand that tests need to be undertaken to diagnose a problem, but across 5 days my arms had had so many needles that there was no real estate left, as described by pathology.

Whilst in the care of the hospital, I believe my partner was not contacted to provide an update of my care, I was not offered any laundry service to have my clothes, which were bloodied by a missed IV insertion, cleaned. During 5 days I was offered 1 shower at Broome Hospital with no clean clothes.

After being discharged, a week later I still do not have a discharge summary. I was offered a 5.5hr bus trip with self-drive 4hr return to Broome for another test, scheduled for a day after discharge. They had already booked my ticket. This was apparently because the hospital was full. Then another 4hr return home with only the bus trip paid for the following week, if I could pay for private accommodation over the weekend. I was offered $100 as compensation. In my opinion, either of these would have been a less than desirable option, but viable, except that I had no identification, no wallet, no cash no credit card to buy food, or arrange accommodation. I felt the hospital offered no solution to this, simply saying that the bank might give money out if I could prove who I am.

A diagnosis of blood clot was finally given, as informed by my nurse. I managed to access my CT results on the MyRad app after I got home. According to these results, I had an infarction in two of my organs and partial lung collapse. I was never informed about this and I had no idea of how serious this could have been. As I still do not have a discharge summary at the time of writing this story, I still have no idea about a plan or what caused this. I have not been referred to a local doctor and am trying to book an appointment to see someone at Fitzroy Hospital to discuss my results. At the time of writing this, no one has contacted me.

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Response from Sue Phillips, Regional Director of Medical Services, WA Country Health Service Kimberley 2 months ago
Sue Phillips
Regional Director of Medical Services,
WA Country Health Service Kimberley

Manages the Medical Services across the Kimberley region

Submitted on 3/11/2021 at 5:47 PM
Published on Care Opinion at 5:48 PM

Dear AbdoPain,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience of treatment received at Fitzroy Crossing and Broome Hospitals.

I am so sorry to read about the numerous challenges you experienced during what sounds like a very stressful and worrying time for you.

I am very concerned about the need to get your Fitzroy Crossing General Practitioner involved in coordinating the next steps of care for what may be a very serious condition. I would be happy to facilitate this for you. My name is Sue Phillips and I am the Medical Director. Please free to call me on my mobile 0407 779 200 or email me at: I would also greatly appreciate being able to speak with you about the other concerns you have raised in your story.

It must have been very difficult for you to have been in severe pain over a lengthy period of time at Fitzroy Hospital and to have experienced symptoms, including a fever. I am also very sorry to learn that there was some confusion and miscommunication between the two hospitals in relation to the instruction to abstain from food and drink, which would have added to your discomfort.

I am disappointed to hear that your partner was not contacted during your care journey. We expect that families and carers of patients are kept informed about their loved ones changing situations and I apologise that this did not happen. I am also sorry that you were not offered laundry services and only received one shower during your five-day admission.

I am at a loss for words in relation to your description of overhearing a conversation by clinical staff members regarding getting drunk and being hungover while at work. This would have been understandably unsettling for you. Staff have already had this fed back to them, along with our expectations that their behaviour is required to be professional and appropriate at all times.

As I mentioned earlier, I would genuinely like to talk with you about your experience so we can address the areas where we need to improve.

I do hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

Sue Phillips

Regional Medical Director

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