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Hospital rejects six-year-old boy near death

A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy suffering life-threatening internal bleeding was turned away before he could even enter the emergency department at Gympie Hospital.

The boy had crashed his motorbike while riding on his parents' property at Ryan Rd in Wolvi around noon on October 5, suffering bruising up his left side over his spleen.

He was delivered to Gympie Hospital by paramedics, who were told by Gympie Hospital staff to drive him 70km to Nambour.

A concerned friend of the family, who The Gympie Times has chosen not to name, said a doctor looked at the boy in the back of the ambulance, but did not properly examine him before denying the patient entry to the hospital.

The friend described the child as "rigid with pain, was very pale and his lips were white".

"By the time he arrived (at Nambour Hospital) he was minutes away from death.

"A team of 20 hospital staff were waiting in a resus bay to stabilise him."

The boy was later moved to the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, where he was diagnosed with a ruptured spleen.

The boy returns home to Wolvi today, having spent the past 10 days in hospital.

The friend said the Wolvi community was "absolutely outraged" and demands to "know why the boy was turned away from the Gympie emergency department when staff clearly saw his condition was life-threatening.".

"We have completely lost faith in the hospital's ability to service this community."

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service chief executive Kevin Hegarty said the Gympie Health Service was reviewing the management of the case as part of its "quality improvement process".

"The director of Gympie Health Services has endeavoured to contact the family and will continue to do so," Mr Hegarty said.

"The emergency department at Gympie Hospital prides itself on delivering a quality emergency service to its community.

"In all cases it is the responsibility of the treating medical officer to assess the best treatment option/s for a patient who presents," Mr Hegarty said.

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