Global Statistics

All countries
527,810,077
Confirmed
Updated on May 23, 2022 8:07 am
All countries
483,885,851
Recovered
Updated on May 23, 2022 8:07 am
All countries
6,300,794
Deaths
Updated on May 23, 2022 8:07 am
Monday, May 23, 2022

Global Statistics

All countries
527,810,077
Confirmed
Updated on May 23, 2022 8:07 am
All countries
483,885,851
Recovered
Updated on May 23, 2022 8:07 am
All countries
6,300,794
Deaths
Updated on May 23, 2022 8:07 am
Molderizer and Safe Shield

Family of youngest Queenslander to die with COVID-19 lodges formal complaint about treatment at Redcliffe Hospital

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A young Queensland man with a disability has died with COVID-19 at home, leaving his devoted family with serious questions about why he was discharged from a hospital emergency department just hours earlier.

Lachlan Moore, who was born with the neurodevelopmental condition Angelman syndrome, cerebral palsy and epilepsy, was found dead in bed earlier this month, hours after being sent home from the Redcliffe Hospital, north of Brisbane.

A coroner found he died from a subarachnoid haemorrhage, or brain bleed, as a result of his medical conditions, but Lachie’s grieving father, Ron Moore, said: “COVID was the sail that drove it.”

Lachie is the youngest person in Queensland to have died with COVID-19. Fifty-two deaths have been recorded so far and one in five of those people have been found dead at home.

The 28-year-old, who will be remembered by his family and friends for being loving, fun and with a “one million per cent smile”, was farewelled at a funeral service on Saturday, the day his case was included in Queensland’s official COVID-19 death data.

Close shot of Lachlan Moore smiling wearing a life vest in a pool.
By the time the PCR test’s positive results for COVID-19 came through by text message, Lachie was dead.(Supplied)

Ms Moore, who attended the emergency department with her much-loved, non-verbal son, has lodged a formal complaint with the Redcliffe Hospital about his treatment.

The Angelman Syndrome Association Australia has also written to Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and Disability Services Minister Craig Crawford with concerns about how Lachie’s case was handled.

“This tragic loss has once again raised matters of concern about the care and support for people with intellectual disability during this pandemic,” ASAA president Fiona Lawton wrote.

“We ask for your urgent attention to implement a specific protocol that details the full COVID-19 health response to be provided for people with intellectual disability, rare disease, and complex communication challenges, their carers and support workers.”

Lachie ‘died next to me’

In an emotional interview with the ABC yesterday, his father said the family would never know whether the outcome would have been different if Lachie had been kept in hospital.

“He would have had a hell of a lot more chance than he did here,” Mr Moore said at the family’s North Lakes home, north of Brisbane.

Grieving parents Megan and Ron Moore look solemn as they sit together in their house.
Megan and Ron Moore say they “never considered” they would outlive Lachie.(ABC News: Mark Leonardi)

The Moores said they “never considered” they would outlive Lachie, who had received two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine but was not yet eligible for a booster.

“We planned our life around him surviving us,” Mr Moore said.

“This home was ostensibly his — it was going to be his with carers 24/7, his brothers to look in on him, to protect him.”

‘Somebody’s life in your hands’

In the family’s complaint to the hospital, Ms Moore alleges that staff declined her request for Lachie to be tested for COVID-19 with a rapid antigen test and that the emergency doctor who handled her son’s case did not “spend any significant time examining” him.

“I would like to see, especially for people who are non-verbal, that there’s extra care taken,” Ms Moore said.

“Take that extra test, take that extra time, take the time to examine him properly.

“Don’t just come in and discuss the symptoms with me and then walk back out again because you’re understaffed.

“I’m sorry, but you’re a doctor — you have to be present with that patient when you’re with that patient, because you’ve got somebody’s life in your hands.

Request for rapid antigen test denied, mother says

Ms Moore said an ambulance was called to the family home after Lachie became ill with a bad cough, high temperature and seizures.

Paramedics took him to Redcliffe Hospital, where he was handed over as a possible COVID-19 case, given his father had been ill for a couple of days and was awaiting the results of a COVID test.

Ambulances parked at Redcliffe Hospital
Ms Moore says an ambulance was called to the family home after Lachie became ill with a bad cough, high temperature and seizures.(ABC News: Michael Lloyd)

Lachie was taken to an isolation room and initially attended to by a nurse.

All staff who entered the room wore full personal protective equipment.

But Ms Moore said her request for a COVID-19 rapid antigen test for her son was denied, with hospital staff telling her it would only be performed “if a patient was about to be intubated” — referring to the medical procedure of inserting a flexible tube into a person’s mouth or nose and into the airway.

Swabs were instead taken from Lachie for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and Ms Moore was advised the results would take “a couple of days”.

By the time the positive results came through by text message, Lachie was dead.

Sent home with prescription for antibiotics

Lachie was sent home from Redcliffe Hospital with a prescription for antibiotics after a chest x-ray showed he had an upper respiratory tract infection.

He had been in the emergency department for about five hours.

Although health care workers were unable to collect urine via a catheter from Lachie to test for a urinary tract infection (UTI), the attending doctor allegedly told his mother the prescription would cover both infections.

In her complaint to the hospital, Ms Moore said the doctor did not spend “any significant time” examining Lachie, who she described as an “at-risk patient due to his underlying medical issues, disability, and his inability to verbalise his symptoms”.

Sign and driveway for emergency vehicles entry into Redcliffe Hospital, north of Brisbane.
Megan Moore, who attended the emergency department with her non-verbal son, has lodged a formal complaint with the Redcliffe Hospital about his treatment.(ABC News: Michael Lloyd)

A response has been sought from the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS), which is responsible for the Redcliffe Hospital.

In a statement last night, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath offered her sympathies to the family.

“We offer them our condolences,” Ms D’Ath said.

“I understand the matter was referred to the coroner and that the HHS has reached out to the family to offer them support.”

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