Redland Hospital needs to communicate better, says Macleay Island resident

REDLAND HOSPITAL: Medical services director Rosalind Crawford says consent forms list the major risks and side effects and follow-up occurs.

REDLAND HOSPITAL: Medical services director Rosalind Crawford says consent forms list the major risks and side effects and follow-up occurs.

A MACLEAY Island resident says a lack of information from Redland Hospital after an operation led him to becoming ill.

John Brodie wrote to Metro South Health, complaining that he was not advised that pain killers he was prescribed could lead to constipation.

Mr Brodie said the hospital’s focus was on pain-killers, not on the damage they did.

“What I did not know, because no one mentioned it, was that the super strength of your pain killers would override anything that I did and created the worst of constipation problems,’’ he wrote to Queensland Health.

Medical services director Rosalind Crawford said all procedures at Redland Hospital had well-established consent processes involving a signed consent form which listed the major risks and significant side effects.

Education with one or more clinicians about the procedure and access to follow-up consultation with a nurse or doctor by phone after discharge from hospital or in outpatients also was in place.

“In general, the side effects of anaesthetic or pain medication differ for everyone and some patients can experience constipation after hernia or other operations,’’ Dr Crawford said.

Mr Brodie said there was nothing but a bland reference to constipation on discharge information and in the end he had to call 000 for an ambulance.

“It was an agonising trip,’’ he said. “When I got to Redlands Hospital, I was just about out on my feet.’’

“It took emergency over half an hour to find someone to assist me – not even a pain-killer. Absolutely disgraceful.

“All of this agony, suffering and cost of ambulance, the ferry to the mainland and a second ambulance to the hospital – is the result of your failure to explain the constipation problem as a major issue – and provide me with compensating medication.

“It was only after this second trip that I had such an explanation and was given a script for Coloxyl.

“Your incompetence put me through hell.’’

Dr Crawford said she encouraged any patients if they were concerned after an operation to see their GP in

the first instance.

“The GP can arrange urgent specialist follow-up,’’ Dr Crawford said. “If patients continue to be worried they have the option to present to the Emergency Department.’’

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