Sent home with needle in her arm

Anne-Marie Stannard has complained Maryborough Hospital sent her home with a cannula in her arm.
Anne-Marie Stannard has complained Maryborough Hospital sent her home with a cannula in her arm. Clementine Norton

A WOMAN sent home from hospital with a cannular intravenous device still stuck her arm on two occasions has pleaded with Queensland Health to review its patient discharge policies.

Anne-Marie Stannard says she was forced to endure a horror night with the needle and tube in her arm after her stay at Maryborough Hospital last month.

While Ms Stannard said she appreciated the care she received from nursing staff she believes a vital step in the supervision process of discharging patients is missing.

In 2009, Ms Stannard was treated at the hospital for pancreatitis and discharged under the influence of a sedative.

When she recovered later in the day she found the cannula still in her arm and had to return to hospital for it to be removed.

On November 3, she was discharged from the hospital under the same powerful sedative and Ms Stannard said she later discovered the cannula had again been left in her arm.

On this occasion it was very late, she was unable to raise anyone at the hospital by phone and her doctor was unavailable after hours.

"I was shaking like a leaf," Ms Stannard said

"I couldn't sleep I was so scared I was going to bleed out or something and it hurt like hell."

When she went to the hospital the next day Ms Stannard said she has been told by staff that incidents like hers were very rare.

"It would be a massive co-incidence for it to happen twice and not to anyone else," she said

"If it can happen to me it can happen to (anyone)."

Fraser Coast Health Service operational executive Mr Andy Froggatt said issues regarding patient care were taken "very seriously".

"Any concerns regarding patient safety are investigated thoroughly," Mr Froggatt said

"We have received a verbal complaint from Ms Stannard about her recent visit to hospital and we will investigate this matter in detail.

"It is part of our usual checking process for staff to remove cannulas before patients are discharged and it is not acceptable if this has failed to occur. I would like to apologise to Ms Stannard for any distress that these occurrences may have caused her."

Topics:  health hospital needle patient review

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