Yesterday, Nine News published a story of a two year old girl with a rare birth defect that allegedly almost went undiagnosed.

The full story can be read here.

The young girl was diagnosed with Chiari malformation. Chiari malformation is a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal and puts pressure on the brain. Due to the young girl’s age, it is reported that she required an MRI under anaesthesia to help keep her still during the imaging. She was allegedly sent home awaiting MRI, with her mother being told that the current waitlist for MRI under anaesthesia was 9 months.

While the young girls’ waitlist period was fast tracked, she caught COVID-19 and so her MRI was postponed again.

The young girls’ mother ultimately took her to Children’s Hospital emergency department where she received treatment in time.

This story is thankfully a close call, however, it sheds light on the critical lack of staff in New South Wales hospitals and the potentially fatal consequences for patients. Nine News reported that of the 41 specialist anaesthetists at Westmead Hospital, where this young girl initially presented, just 4 of them are full time. They also reported that there are approximately 2000 children on the elective surgery waiting list at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Far too often are patients not receiving the treatment they need, with many going misdiagnosed or not receiving adequate emergency medical treatment, due to a lack of staff.

Get in touch with us

If you or anyone you know has suffered harm as a result of medical negligence and you would like to investigate a potential claim for compensation, please contact our medical negligence team on 13 43 63.

At Turner Freeman, we have specialist medical negligence lawyers who will assess your case and provide personalised advice regarding your legal entitlements. Our medical negligence lawyers are located across NSW including in our offices in Sydney, Parramatta, WollongongNewcastle and Toronto.