Amanda Patterson with her injured foot after she stood on a sewing needle. Ms Patterson waited four days for surgery at the Ipswich Hospital.
Amanda Patterson with her injured foot after she stood on a sewing needle. Ms Patterson waited four days for surgery at the Ipswich Hospital. Rob Williams

Woman waits four days for surgery to remove a needle

HUNGRY and in severe pain, Amanda Patterson was forced to wait four days at the Ipswich Hospital for emergency surgery to remove a sewing needle lodged between her toes.

The stray needle on the floor of her Goodna home became embedded and snapped inside her right foot on Wednesday.

She went to her general practitioner, who attempted to pull the implement from her toes.

"They put six needles in my foot to get it out and they couldn't," she said.

"He (her doctor) stitched it up and sent me to the Ipswich Hospital."

After arriving at the emergency department Ms Patterson was referred to a ward to wait for the operation - where she would remain for four days due to surgery delays.

Ms Patterson acknowledged her surgery was delayed because of "major emergencies" in the department.

In preparation for surgery she went without food and took small sips of water.

"They said I could eat and drink little sips of water during the day but from 12 o'clock in the morning I couldn't do anything at all," she said.

"I was feeling really sick."

Surgery was delayed four times, with the 30-year old asked to fast in preparation for the next scheduled operation.

"They kept putting me back down the list and I was getting really mad," she said.

On Saturday night she was operated on after 21 hours of fasting.

West Moreton Health's Ipswich Hospital Executive Director Luke Worth said people were most vulnerable when they present for care.

"We also understand that the health system is a complex system and we aim to give patients as much information as possible to best prepare them for their medical journey," he said.

"West Moreton community members can be assured surgery is only ever delayed to accommodate the critical needs of another person.

"Our clinical staff constantly assess and triage people according to the urgency of their needs to ensure the sickest people are treated first."

Mr Worth said less urgent surgeries were delayed when a more urgent, life-threatening case presented "to ensure our available resources are directed towards those who need it most".

In April this year, 366 people needed emergency surgery at Ipswich Hospital compared to 319 in April 2017 - an increase of almost 15 per cent.

"West Moreton Health's performance in emergency surgery is strong and we are proud to deliver quality, timely care to critically ill people in their time of need," Mr Worth said.

Ms Patterson's partner Craig Horsfall said the system was as bad as when he had an appendix removed 15 years ago.

"We're meant to be on the way to a better health system," he said.

The situation led Mr Horsfall to complain to several senior staff including the liaison to Health Minister Steven Miles' office.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the State Government was delivering on its election commitment to invest $124.4 million and upgrade Ipswich Hospital.

"Ipswich Hospital continues to experience high levels of demand as West Moreton's population booms," he said.