Mar 20, 2024

Brisbane family blames broken QLD health system for grandfather’s tragic death

Brisbane family blames broken QLD health system for grandfather’s tragic death
Image courtesy of Channel 7 news

A bereaved family is seeking clarity following the tragic passing of their cherished grandfather, Russell Bates, whose distressing hospital ordeal resulted in what his family believes was an untimely death.

Russell Bates, aged 76, was enjoying a Christmas celebration with his loved ones on December 30, before going unconscious and having a subsequent fall. Promptly admitted to Queensland’s Logan Hospital, he endured an agonising seven-hour wait in a corridor for a bed due to ambulance congestion.

Following an initial x-ray examination, Bates was informed that he had no fractures and would be discharged shortly. However, he continued to experience discomfort and displayed bruising, prompting his children to advocate for further testing over the ensuing four days.

During an interview with 7 News, Mr Bates’s daughter Michelle Dunne recounted the moment when a doctor finally acknowledged their concerns, informing her, “You were correct; there are two fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.” Bates’ condition deteriorated thereafter, rendering him bedridden, unable to eat, and struggling to breathe.

The Bates family contends that Russell suffered repeated misdiagnoses attributable to staff shortages plaguing the hospital. Throughout his ten-day hospitalisation, they assert his condition precipitously declined despite fervent pleas from concerned kin urging medical practitioners to conduct more exhaustive tests.

By the fifth day, Russell’s heart faltered, and by the tenth, he was rushed to the ICU, grappling with hospital-acquired pneumonia, a perforated bowel, and sepsis.

Undergoing emergency surgery, Russell fought bravely, but within two days, his family confronted the heart-wrenching choice to discontinue life support.

The family is convinced that Russell would still be among the living today were it not for a succession of systemic mishaps.

“He entered the hospital as a relatively hale and hearty man, only to depart in a shroud,” lamented his daughter, Michelle Dunne, in an interview with Seven News. “I implored them repeatedly, ‘Please conduct further tests.'”

David, Russell’s son, echoed his sister’s sentiments, recounting how nurses tirelessly sought aid for his ailing father. “The nurses were deeply troubled by Dad’s condition. They scurried throughout the hospital in search of assistance.”

According to the family, a surgeon callously deemed their father “insufficiently unwell” to warrant intervention.

Subsequently, nurses urged the family to invoke Ryan’s Rule—a procedural recourse intended to ensure thorough assessments for deteriorating patients. Regrettably, the family alleges that invoking Ryan’s Rule led to further medical oversights, despite assurances to the contrary.

In their quest for answers, the Bates family is demanding accountability and transparency from the healthcare system they believe failed Russell in his hour of need.

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