NATHAN LUCKY TO BE ALIVE Trip to City May Have Saved Life; Two Hospital Visits Fail to Diagnose Bleeding on Brain after Rugby Player Breaks Neck

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), April 5, 2014 | Go to article overview

NATHAN LUCKY TO BE ALIVE Trip to City May Have Saved Life; Two Hospital Visits Fail to Diagnose Bleeding on Brain after Rugby Player Breaks Neck


Byline: Patrick Williams

A COAST footballer has been told he is lucky to be alive after the failure of doctors to diagnose a brain haemorrhage during two hospital visits.

Nambour General Hospital says it will launch an investigation into Nathan Burnell's case.

He was discharged twice, once with a diagnosed fractured vertebra and the second time with a concussion, before his partner took him to Brisbane, where it was found he had bleeding on the brain.

THE 25-year old is in a stable condition and waiting to hear whether surgery is required at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital following his second head scan yesterday morning.

Mr Burnell, from Mountain Creek, was injured last Saturday during a game of rugby union, playing for the University of the Sunshine Coast club in the reserve grade.

He was taken to Nambour General Hospital twice by ambulance, following the incident and the next day.

Doctors there first diagnosed him with a fractured T12 vertebra and on the second appearance, a concussion.

He was given pain medication.

By Tuesday he was still in excruciating pain and his partner, Brooke Pratt, knew something was still terribly wrong.

She took him to Brisbane, where he had a head scan and the true extent of his injuries were revealed.

He had haemorrhaging of the brain.

"They said, a[approximately]thank God you brought him in, you've practically saved his life because he's got bleeding on the brain'," Ms Pratt said.

"Without that diagnosis who knows what would have happened? …

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