Doc hangs up sy­ringes after 15 years at hospi­tal

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Te­gan Guthrie

Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der’s only res­i­dent anaes­thetist, David Chap­man, has put down his sy­ringes after 15 years at Kal­go­or­lie Health Cam­pus.

Known by pa­tients as Chappy, Dr Chap­man has per­formed more than 20,000 pro­ce­dures in his time in Kal­go­or­lie- Boul­der, in­clud­ing more than 1250 epidu­rals and just un­der 1000 cae­sare­ans.

Dr Chap­man moved to Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der from Queens­land to fill the role at the hospi­tal in 2003, and said he was re­luc­tant to leave.

“I would still like to carry on, but one re­alises, I’m 75 now and the time comes where you have to hang up your sy­ringes and do some­thing else,” he said.

While re­tire­ment means he will have more time to play golf, Dr Chap­man said he would still help out at the hospi­tal as a locum if they were short-staffed.

He said the hospi­tal had a need for two anaes­thetists and while he pre­vi­ously filled one spot, the other was usu­ally filled by a vis­it­ing spe­cial­ist or a GP anaes­thetist.

“I have sort of been the back­bone by be­ing the only one here the whole time, apart from when I’m on hol­i­days,” he said. “But we have the need for two anaes­thetists be­cause there are two the­atres run­ning most of the time.”

Dur­ing his time in the role, Dr Chap­man helped the hospi­tal es­tab­lish a pre-ad­mis­sion clinic to help de­ter­mine if pa­tients were bet­ter off be­ing ad­mit­ted lo­cally or in Perth for surgery, and also im­ple­mented a BMI limit for lo­cal surg­eries. “When I ar­rived here we were deal­ing with a lot of over­weight peo­ple and with the help of the med­i­cal di­rec­tor we in­tro­duced a limit to the weight we could do safely be­cause the heav­ier you are the more likely you are to get com­pli­ca­tions,” he said.

“It was in the Kal­go­or­lie Miner at the time and there was a lot of angst and I was crit­i­cised for it.

“But I had to point out it was done in their in­ter­ests, par­tic­u­larly for the preg­nant ladies and their ba­bies.”

Pic­ture: Kelsey Reid

Anaes­thetist Dr David Chap­man has re­tired after 15 years at Kal­go­or­lie Health Cam­pus.

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