A baby boy who died after a misdiagnosis at Shoalhaven Hospital will be the face of a statewide campaign to give parents a lifeline if they feel their concerns are not being heard.
Kyran Day was just six months old when he was taken to Shoalhaven Hospital on October 19, 2013, and diagnosed with gastroenteritis, when he was in fact suffering from a bowel obstruction.
His condition deteriorated, and his grandmother – a nurse – and mother continually questioned the diagnosis. Twenty hours after he first saw a doctor, the correct diagnosis was made.
Grant and Naomi Day had to wait four hours for an ambulance to take their little boy to Sydney Children’s Hospital, while a request for a helicopter was denied.
During the transfer, Kyran lost consciousness and the ambulance was diverted to Shellharbour Hospital where he suffered several cardiac arrests before he was flown to Sydney for surgery. He died on October 22.
While a coronial inquest is continuing into the death, his grieving parents have not stopped fighting to get Kyran’s Rule into NSW law.
It would be based on Ryan’s Rule, a Queensland protocol that allows people who don’t believe their health concerns are being taken seriously to call in extra help.
‘’Over the last three years we’ve been massive advocates for change within the system,’’ Mr Day said. ‘’We’re doing this for all the families, babies and children who don’t have a voice. Kyran’s life was cut short through a preventable death. We hope other lives will be saved through Kyran’s legacy.’’
The Days met with NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner in July and are now helping to promote NSW Health’s Reach program.
‘’The Reach (Recognise, Engage, Act, Call and Help Is On Its Way) program empowers patients and their families to escalate care if they are concerned about a patient’s condition,’’ Mrs Skinner said.
“The NSW Clinical Excellence Commission will collaborate (with the family) on new strategies to raise awareness of the program among families, and to include Kyran’s photo on information brochures and posters.’’
The Days story will also be included in training videos for health professionals.
‘’There are amazing doctors and nurses at hospitals, but sometimes its the culture that’s the issue,’’ Mr Day said.
‘’That’s why we’re working with the government to create a better system.’’
Mrs Skinner said further meetings were planned with the family to consider language used in patient and family information for the REACH program.
Parents’ plight highlighted in Parliament
Grant and Naomi Day’s dedication to make a difference was highlighted in NSW Parliament this week.
In a private member’s statement on Tuesday, Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell praised the couple’s battle for other parents’ right to a second opinion when their child was hospitalised.
‘’Since the loss of their little boy, Naomi and Grant Day have fought tirelessly to ensure that no family in NSW will have to suffer as they have,’’ he said.
‘’They have been fighting to implement Queensland's Ryan's Rule into NSW law. Ryan's Rule was implemented in Queensland when two-year-old Ryan Saunders’ life was lost, which was later declared to be preventable.
‘’Despite the protestations of his parents for alternative and additional assistance, young Ryan was treated only with Panadol for his bacterial infection. Unfortunately, Ryan passed away.
‘’Queensland Health noted: ‘Staff did not know Ryan as well as his mum and dad knew him’. This is true for most, if not all, children.’’
Mr Rowell also praised NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner for the ‘’compassion’’ she had shown the Days, and her commitment to change.
‘’Moreover, the department is looking towards a co-ordinated national approach to transparency in the national healthcare system,’’ he said.
‘’I give my thanks to the Day family for making this possible. This is their achievement; this is their victory.’’
The MP said he recounted the Days’ story to ‘’ensure that such tragic loss never again occurs in NSW’’.
‘’I urge all members of the House to take note of this story and to see the importance of instituting Kyran's rule as law,’’ he said. ‘’...I stand alongside Mr and Mrs Day to see this change occur.’’