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"To port or not to port, what was the question?"

About: Sale Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

As a frequent flyer of the CGH ED department, my spouse has done everything possible to make the visits easier on their body. This includes getting a smart port inserted in their chest so that chemotherapy, pain management and fluids can be administered in a way that is more efficient and less painful. I believe my spouse’s veins are scared and hard to access as a result of 6 months of chemotherapy and multiple trips to emergency due to crashing white blood cell counts.

Over the last year we have become adept at advocating for what we believe is needed.

On our latest visit we advocated for the ED doctor to use the port and contact Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) as I believe they are required to do, neither of which occurred, until after my spouse’s discharge. Our oncologist informed us that they were contacted post discharge. What was the good of that? Our oncologist was unable to have any input into the care plan.

I got the feeling that no one in the ED department nor the ward knew how to use a port. I feel using the port would have reduced pain and increased patient experience.

I have felt over the past year that as much as we advocate for care to happen in a manner that we see is right, we are disregarded and ignored.

I have also felt that the medical team in ED have been very hesitant to contact Peter Mac even though we have repeatedly asked and it has been requested by Peter Mac.

Most of the stays have been, in my opinion, somewhat horrific. Bar the caring clinical team, which has been mildly reassuring.

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Response from Syed Khadri, Executive Director Medical Services / Head of Emergency Medicine, Executive Suite, Central Gippsland Health 5 months ago
We have made a change
Syed Khadri
Executive Director Medical Services / Head of Emergency Medicine, Executive Suite,
Central Gippsland Health
Submitted on 17/12/2021 at 6:07 PM
Published on Care Opinion on 20/12/2021 at 10:13 AM

picture of Syed Khadri

Dear ConfusedinSale

My name is Dr Syed Khadri and I am the Director of Medical Services / Head of Emergency Medicine at Central Gippsland Health.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention and allowing us the opportunity to respond to your feedback. Our approach is always to make the patient's experience count by acknowledging the stories of our consumers and seeking ways to improve our care to the community we serve.

It would be quite unusual for our Emergency Department staff to care for a patient with a smart port - this would more commonly be seen at the larger tertiary hospitals and health centres. Your feedback has prompted us to include education on the use of smart ports in ongoing education for our medical staff.

We wish you and your spouse all the best and if we can provide any additional supports, please don't hesitate to contact me at or on (03) 5143 8700.

Kind Regards

Dr Khadri

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