Girl, 3, sent home with gruesome head injury
AN ANGRY mum has vowed to never go to a Darwin hospital again after staff sent her injured three-year-old daughter home with a gaping head wound.
Woodroffe mum Jenna Graefling said her youngest daughter, Alice Anne Lee had been playing with her sister Penelope, 4, at their grandma's house, when she fell off a bed and split her head open on a concrete window sill at 11pm on Saturday.
"There was blood all over the bedroom, it was spraying out of her head and they were both screaming when their grandma came in and found them," she said.
"Grandma rushed her to the Palmerston Hospital at about midnight and Alice was in shock.
"She had a gash about 5cm by 2cm and it was deep enough that you could see her skull.
"The doctor had a look at it but didn't flush it out or anything, they just gave her paracetamol and put numbing cream and a bandaids on her head.
"They said they were too busy and couldn't operate on it that night, so they told her grandma to take Alice home and bring her back at 8am the next morning to get operated on."
The mum-of-two said her mother-in-law called and told her what happened the next morning when they all went to the hospital together for Alice's operation at 8am.
But once there they were told doctors would no longer operate on Alice and they were transferred to Royal Darwin Hospital where Alice was finally stitched up at 6pm on Sunday.
"It's frustrating because if they knew they couldn't do it they should have told us to go straight to RDH instead of making us wait around Palmerston all that time," she said.
"While fasting for surgery, my three-year-old couldn't eat for 19 hours straight because of that wait."
A statement from Palmerston Regional Hospital said staff explained to the accompanying family member that further procedure would require fasting and parental consent.
"It is usual procedure to release the patient to fast at home if there is no need for hospitalisation," the statement read.
"For a child it is also more comforting to be at home than in the hospital environment.
"The wound was appropriately dressed, written advice was given and the family member was advised to return at 8am the following day.
"The patient presented on Sunday morning at 8am as planned and was seen by an emergency consultant.
"Once parental consent had been obtained, it was agreed the patient be transferred to Royal Darwin Hospital for treatment by the plastics service."