15 Sep 2014

Man with serious back injury sent home

5:45 pm on 15 September 2014

Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill has asked medical staff to apologise to a man discharged with serious spinal injuries without proper treatment.

Anthony Hill.

Anthony Hill. Photo: SUPPLIED

In a report, Mr Hill said the man was cycling in 2012 when he collided with a stationary vehicle.

The man told ambulance staff he could not move his limbs for about 15 minutes after the accident, but that information was not recorded.

Mr Hill said the triage nurse did pick up on the numbness, but the doctor who saw him next did not read the nurse's notes.

The commissioner said if he had, then the man would have been referred for further scans, but instead he was sent home with painkillers and ended up needing more treatment.

"Had the initiating doctor read the notes of the immediately receiving clinician, that would have been written down into that hospital record for a second time. This key piece of information would have automatically seen this patient referred on for the CT imaging that he actually needed and did not get."

Mr Hill said he is confident that action has been taken to stop this happening again.