About my child being in pain for a couple of months.

(as a parent/guardian),

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About: Kalgoorlie Health Campus / Emergency Department

Late last year, my child was at tee-ball practice and twisted their ankle. My child got back up and tried to keep playing, but couldn't because of the pain. We went home and ICED my child's foot, but it was quite swollen and they could not walk on it. Late that evening we went to the hospital. We spoke to the nurse and told to wait until called. We were taken straight for an x-ray. We went back to the waiting area and were called into the nurse's area to talk to the doctor. The doctor told us that it was sprained and not broken, I did question this as it was quite swollen and my child could not walk on it at all. We were told to use crutches for a week and see how we go. My child had to have panadol 24 hrs a day for a week.

After this time we went back to the GP as it was not getting any better, they sent us for an x-ray and to get an appointment for an ultrasound. We went straight back to get the x-ray. While there I asked for the film to be printed to give to the GP, I was refused and told that the doctor could get it online. I did asked again and said that the doctor would really like the films to look at, again I was refused as the doctor could look online. I was told the GP would get a copy of the report (they didn't).

By this time we thought that my child must have damaged their tendons or ligaments as we assumed nothing was coming up on the x-rays. I then received an appointment for the ultrasound that was not going to be done until the middle of January, so decided to get it done privately as we were so worried, as the pain and swelling were still there. We finally got into the clinic for the ultrasound in early January and received the results the following a few days later.

At the doctor's appointment the doctor asked for me to go and demand the x-ray films and I took them back to the doctor. The doctor was extremely upset and tried to get an appointment for my child with the paediatric orthopod, but they would not get back to the doctor. I had an appointment for myself to see the normal orthopaedic doctor and asked for them to put my child in as they were not going to give me an appointment for my child straight away.

Once at the appointment we were told that by this time it was 6 weeks and they couldn't do anything for my child. I asked if you could see the fracture on the first x-ray which has an arrow pointing at the fracture. I am extremely disappointed that my child has had to live with 2 fractures in their ankle that were not picked up by  2  x-rays.

As I had no confidence in the hospital by this stage I have taken my child to an private Orthopod to be checked, as we are extremely worried about their ankle. My child is still in pain every day, has swelling every day, and will miss out on sport and after school sport for at least another month to two months. My child will also miss out on going to States Tee-Ball that our child has fundraised for as we thought the injury was a sprain. As this is the second break in 2. 5 years that has not been diagnosed in my children from this hospital, I really hope that something will happen and be looked into more closely. Thank you           

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Response from Geraldine Ennis, Regional Director, WACHS - Goldfields

picture of Geraldine Ennis

Dear Mum to sore child

I was very disappointed to read about your experience at the Kalgoorlie Hospital. You have mentioned a number of areas where the treatment of your child needs to be formally investigated. I would very much appreciate you contacting the Kalgoorlie Hospital Operations Manager, David Bowdidge, on 9080 5817, and providing us with the name of your child and more details of your experience. I can reassure you your complaints will be thoroughly looked into.

It is my sincere hope that things improve quickly and your child is no longer in pain.

Regards

Geraldine M. Ennis PSM

Regional Director

WACHS Goldfields

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