Wollongong’s Mother Tegan Castle Says Stretched Hospital Resources Could Lead to Tragedy Illawarra Mercury

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Four hours after arriving in the emergency department at Wollongong Hospital, the area around little Kendall Wigger’s lips turned blue. Her mother, Tegan Castle, struggled to wake her and again rushed her to the triage office, begging for the 17-month-old to be seen by a doctor. Finally, after their interminable wait, the mother and daughter were introduced and the child Wongawilli spent the next six days in the hospital on oxygen. It wasn’t the COVID-19 she was struggling with, but bronchiolitis. Yet her mother said the pressures from so many people hospitalized with COVID put a strain on resources. And she’s afraid of what that might mean for others who need emergency care. “Kendall woke up on New Years Day with a cough and a high temperature and we first watched her at home,” Ms Castle said. “The next day, when she was not keeping her fluids, we called the doctor radio and were on hold for 50 minutes before the line was cut. That’s when we decided to go. ‘take to the hospital, which we had been trying to avoid with everything that was going on. Read more: Two deaths, 2,169 positive COVID cases for Illawarra Shoalhaven Upon arrival, Ms Castle was told there were no beds and there would be a four to six hour wait. She almost went home. “I’m so glad I didn’t – I would have gone home and had to call an ambulance when the area around her mouth turned blue and I couldn’t wake her – and the service. The ambulance is under as much pressure as the hospitals right now. ” Ms Castle said that in the meantime she had seen many parents with children with COVID and relatively mild symptoms enter before her. “I don’t blame them – they couldn’t take them to a medical center and they don’t know where to take them elsewhere, and they’re scared,” she said. “But when I’m sitting in the emergency department waiting room and the area around my daughter’s lips turns blue and she’s unresponsive due to lack of staff and resources due to COVID – then it is a concern. ” COVID has also affected her family – her husband Matthew and son Lleyton, 7, have tested positive, so she and Kendall are currently separated from them. Ms Castle’s mother has her other daughter Hallie, 5, who continues to be tested. In the meantime, she never wanted to make a fuss. After all, the care Kendall received once admitted to Wollongong Hospital was fantastic and she is now feeling great. Then she heard the story of a couple from Sydney who had to give birth at home this month because no ambulance was available. They were then forced to drive to hospital while performing CPR on their newborn baby. “It’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. Hospitals and the ambulance service need more resources,” she said. Northern Illawarra Hospital Group chief executive Nicole Sheppard said management would contact Ms Castle. “Wollongong Hospital takes any concerns of a patient or their family very seriously and will contact the patient’s mother to directly discuss her concerns,” she said. “The emergency department staff work incredibly hard to ensure that wait times are kept to a minimum for our patients, but unfortunately delays do occur for a number of reasons. As is always the case in the emergency room, the most seriously ill or injured patients come first, and will be seen first. ”Ms. Sheppard said NSW Health has rigorous infection prevention and control processes in place. to help ensure the health and safety of all patients, visitors and staff. “As the COVID-19 pandemic puts pressure on our hospitals, important planning has been done to ensure our hospitals have the capacity to care for patients requiring hospitalization, including those with COVID-19. “Illawarra Mercury’s newsroom is funded by our readers. You can sign up to support our journalism here.