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To be annoyed with my daughters hospital care!

(15 Posts)
hanban89 Wed 19-Oct-16 22:34:07

My 20 month old had a fall about one month ago and broke her arm, it was a bad break (about 30 degree angle) at the time they said they would leave it to heal and let the bend grow out over time as she has a lot of growing to do. However we were to the hospital for a new cast 4 times as they weren't staying on and were sliding down. Every time we have been they have to take 2 x Ray's and knew a couple weeks ago it had moved to a bad position but decided to leave it anyway and assured me it should be fine.
We had our appointment yesterday to get the cast off and had new x Ray's, but the break had moved even more and they said she will lose mobility if they leave it, so will need to see the consultant next week as they will need to operate and re break it. So now we don't have a cast on as its set, but her movement is poor.
I'm so upset about this as she is petrified of the hospital/staff/strangers/people in general, and now we are back to square one! I have to hold her down for the staff to do anything with her as she is screaming and won't keep still, it's just full blown melt downs. She has had 15 x Ray's in total and will need who knows how many more. I'm angry that they could have done this right at the start and avoided all the stress for her, and the x Ray ex posture. I came out crying yesterday and don't know how I'm going to do it all again.

sycamore54321 Wed 19-Oct-16 23:57:07

That sounds like a horrid situation and your poor daughter. The thing is though, biology is a horribly messy process and there may well have been good cause to believe that the initial treatment plan was the correct one, and if it had proceeded as had been hoped, would have been less invasive for your daughter. Can you ask a senior medical person to talk you through the reasons the various decisions were made and confirm when it became necessary to go for the more invasive options. It is obviously hugely frustrating from your point of view but a discussion may help.

ApproachingATunnel Thu 20-Oct-16 05:50:18

Sounds a nightmare for both of yousad. I would be questioning the initial decision and contacting PALS. Make a formal complaint, this doesnt sounds right, i'm not a doctor but leaving a bad break to straighten by itself seems a bad idea to me.
Unfortunately it seems that you have no other choice but to go ahead with the invasive operation. Sounds very tough but try to focus on fact that she will be absolutely fine once all of this is over. My DS had to have general anaesthetic to straighten his broken hand (at 4), it was tough but he is absolutely fine now.


HicDraconis Thu 20-Oct-16 07:42:38

It's very common to leave breaks alone in very young children. There's a general thought that as long as you put the edges in the same timezone they will heal - children's bones heal and remodel very well. They wouldn't be rushing to give a 20month old a GA unless they had to.

Repeated changes of cast due to slips needs looking into - why were the casts slipping so much? - but the initial decision to leave well alone is well supported. Unfortunately in the very odd occasion the break doesn't unite as you'd expect, and then you do need surgery, but if 9 times out of 10 it isn't usually necessary a wait and see approach is good.

Rattusn Thu 20-Oct-16 09:00:15

What many people struggle to understand is that when there are complications during a course of medical/surgical treatment, it does not necessarily mean someone is at fault. There are recognized complications to nearly all available treatments, which can happen despite the best possible care.

This is obviously a difficult time for you and your dd, but there is not necessarily a need to jump to blame.

DownInFraggleRock Thu 20-Oct-16 09:28:08

In someone her age, I would almost invariably give the fracture a chance to heal itself. 30degrees is acceptable degree of angulation up to about 9years, and the younger they are, the better the outcome generally.

If it was my child I would absolutely want to try conservative management, even with the increased amount of radiation, because I'd want to avoid a GA if it was in any way possible. It's unfortunate that conservative has failed, and you now have to go through with surgery, but in the majority of cases the decision they made would have been the right one, based on the info you've given.

YelloDraw Thu 20-Oct-16 10:49:03

Going under GA and having it pinned/plated will be an extremely traumatic experience for your DD - absolutely it is best to do a bit of 'wait and see' in young children.

I had a bad break. We waited and saw. It wasn't healing well so had to go in and plate it. Then remove the plates a few years later. Fuck me it was bad - I was so so so sick from the GA and it hurt like anything. Nothing was lost by waiting and seeing for 3 weeks and I might have gained not having to have it plated!

TurquoiseDress Thu 20-Oct-16 11:02:11

Sorry to hear that OP

For what it's worth, I really do not think it's the right move to dive in with a formal complaint and PALS etc at this point.

It's not unusual at all to "watch and wait" in young children, in many cases the fracture will heal well itself.

Unfortunately it sounds that in your LO's case this has not happened, but please do not take this as a sign that somebody has made a mistake in the management.

On balance, conservative management is much more preferable to a GA when dealing with very young children.

Good luck OP

thecitydoc Thu 20-Oct-16 11:31:11

wait and see was the best course of action in the beginning - however it is now appropriate to set the break. I would ignore those suggesting making a formal complaint - the treatment you were offered at the beginning was appropriate. May be the clinicians didn't explain the course of treatment properly to you but there does not seem to me any negligence on their part.

Spam88 Thu 20-Oct-16 11:38:01

Just wanted to reassure you that the amount of radiation you're exposed to from X-rays of arms and legs is absolutely tiny and carries a negligible risk with it.

thecitydoc Thu 20-Oct-16 12:32:34

* ApproachingATunnel i'm not a doctor but leaving a bad break to straighten by itself seems a bad idea to me* It is because you are not a Dr that this seems a bad idea - if you were a Dr you would know that this is the most appropriate treatment at this age. Might be best in future if you did not offer medical advice when you are not a Dr. Go to medical school for 5-6 years, then do 2 years foundation training and then several years paediatric/orthopaedic training and then and only then offer medical advice

Booboostwo Thu 20-Oct-16 13:04:55

Just on another angle of your post: my DD has had a lot of hospital visits since she was 16mo and dealing with the psychological aspects has been quite tough. It's very difficult to see your child struggle and become distressed, even worse to have to hold them down for exams and treatments and the stress that you may be doing unnecessary exams or the wrong treatment is unbearable. It might be worth looking into ways of helping both of you cope with the experience of being in hospital.

franincisco Thu 20-Oct-16 13:21:48

YANBU to be annoyed, but as a PP pointed out medically this is the best course of action. I'm not really sure what there is to complain about?

My ds had a very a bad break, both lower arm bones (can't remember what they are called) in two separate places. He was in hospital for 3 days before being taken down to get it set under GA (bank holiday weekend) and we went every week for 8 weeks to get it x rayed. On the x ray it looked very bent and crooked and I was very upset, they assured me that children's bones are amazing natural healers. I remember the first cast was changed after 4 weeks and there was a massive ball/lump at the breakage site, I was convinced that that would stay permanently, but the doctor said it was fine and would go away and it did.

All the best for your dd {flowers]

yorkshapudding Thu 20-Oct-16 14:40:21

YANBU to be frustrated by the situation and upset by seeing your poor DD so distressed, but there is nothing in your post to suggest that your DD has received poor care.

hanban89 Thu 20-Oct-16 15:27:17

Thanks everyone. I was looking at the original x Ray pictures compared to the current ones and it has moved considerably. I don't mind the deformity in her arm as I know it would straighten but the loss of movement we can't let go, so I am glad they are sorting it.
Does anyone know why casts would keep sliding down and coming off? The consultant seemed to think that not having solid casts on didn't help. They were using something called soft casts so that they wouldn't distress her with use of a saw.
I really don't blame anyone, I just feel upset for what she is going to have to get done now.

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