Health system fails injured friend

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

I’M writing on behalf of my friend. A married man with a full time job to support his three young children and wife.

He participated in a community football match on October 25.

During the game he was helped off the field due to injury.

Knowing he was not in a good way due to swelling and not being able to weight bear he went off to A&E the next morning.

After having an X-ray it was confirmed there was no fracture or break. He was sent home with a brace and crutches.

The next morning with swelling and pain getting worse his wife took him back to A&E hoping that they would send him for an MRI to determine what was going on considering there was no break.

They were sent home a second time and told to see their GP the next day (October 28) to get a referral for an MRI.

Next morning they called the local doctor, the first available appointment was late that afternoon.

The doctor wrote and faxed a referral to receive an MRI down in Melbourne.

After two calls back to the clinic no one had booked an MRI for him.

On October 29, not knowing what else to do they called an ambulance.

They were put through to the Sale branch where they were told that footy players do this all the time (calling ambulance to receive faster treatment), they were told elevate the leg and put some ice on it and that they will not be attending.

At the end of their tether and in desperation, they contacted a chiropractor in Sale. The clinic got him in that morning, they contacted the private MRI clinic in Melbourne and had him an appointment the next day for an MRI and a review with a specialist.

Here is the outcome from the MRI.

He has a fractured tibia, this has depressed 2mm, 1mm more and he will need a screw inserted to hold the bones together.

This means he is not to put any weight on the leg at all.

He has also torn the PCL off the back of the knee and two more attaching ligaments, these will require surgery to have them re-attached.

He has also torn the meniscus on the other side of the knee.

To date he still sits at home with a fractured leg two weeks after being told by the public system that it looks like February before he will get surgery.

I am correct in saying that within six weeks his bone would have healed itself in some abnormal way and cause longer lasting problems.

He is told that if it depresses one more millimetre he will receive emergency surgery.

I am so disappointed in our hospital system, words can not describe my anger at the way a friend of mine and his family have been treated.