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Life-saving surgery highlights partnership with Children’s Hospital

A rarely-performed emergency procedure, which had critical support from the Queensland Children’s Hospital team, has saved the life of a local baby at Bundaberg Hospital.

Two-week-old Ryder Wiegand presented to Bundaberg Hospital on September 11th where the paediatrics team diagnosed symptoms of midgut volvulus (twisting and blockage of the intestines), a life-threatening condition that requires prompt surgery to devolve (untwist) the gut.

After consulting with specialists from the Queensland Children’s Hospital, local surgeons, anaesthetists and paediatrics staff determined a need to perform a procedure to untwist the gut before the arrival of the retrieval team from Brisbane.

Bundaberg Hospital Director of Medical Services Dr Sue Page said the  local paediatrics team promptly recognized the condition and involved the hospital’s surgical team. She praised the collaborative way the local paediatricians, surgeons and anaesthetists worked with Queensland Children’s Hospital to provide the necessary care.

“The collaborative relationship between our paediatric and surgical  teams and the Queensland Children’s Hospital is really important to providing Bundaberg children with great care,” Dr Page said.

“We do not normally perform paediatric surgery locally, but in exceptional circumstances where time is critical, emergency surgery may have to be provided and for Ryder that was certainly the case.

“A delay in treatment for midgut volvulus of only a few hours would have left Ryder with complete bowel infarction and death, whereas prompt surgery by the Bundaberg Hospital team to devolve the gut prevented the catastrophe and brought an excellent prognosis with an expectation of a normal life.

“It’s a great example of team work as it involved the prompt diagnosis of the condition by our pediatricians, specialist consultation from the Queensland Children’s Hospital team and the outstanding work of our Bundaberg Hospital surgeons and anaesthetics team undertaking the procedure.”

Senior Pediatric Surgeon Dr Kelvin Choo led the Queensland Children’s Hospital team consulting with the staff at Bundaberg Hospital on the day Ryder presented.

“I cannot think of a more critical surgical emergency in paediatrics than this condition and I have no doubt that the Bundaberg Hospital team saved Ryder’s life,” Dr Choo said.

“To perform this emergency procedure on a young baby is daunting and it would have been a difficult decision to proceed for all the Bundaberg team, including surgery, anaesthetics and paediatrics.

“Thanks to that decision and their great work performing the surgery, Ryder was safely transferred to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in a stable condition and the next day we were able to perform a Ladd’s procedure to try to prevent the volvulus happening again.

“Every day, the specialists at the Queensland Children’s Hospital work with local paediatric teams to support the delivery of safe, consistent, quality care for children, no matter where they live. Ryder’s case is a powerful example of this partnership at work.”

Last updated: 5 December 2019