9-year-old steps off Gympie region bus into needle nightmare
WHEN a nine-year-old school boy injured his foot on a sharp object after hopping off the school bus at Tuchekoi last week he told his mother "something's cut my foot".
His mother was shocked to see an 80mm-long used and bloody needle, that had gone right through her son's school shoe and into his big toe.
The needle had been lying on the ground at the school bus stop on the intersection of Kenilworth Skyring Creek Rd and Tuchekoi Rd.
"We went to get him checked straight away - to see what the procedure was for a needle stick injury," his father who wished to remain anonymous, said.
"We spent two to three hours up at the Gympie Hospital. You don't know whether a needle that size is either from an animal or human."
Still awaiting test results, the primary-school student was started on a course medication as a precaution against rabies and HIV.
The following afternoon, the boy's parents were horrified to find a two litre bio-hazard sharps container laying in the grass at the bus stop with numerous needles spilling out of it.
"It was right where there the kids get off the bus," the boy's father said.
"It's either fallen off a vehicle or someone's dumped it there."
"It's disgusting, it's dirty and it's disappointing."
Gympie Regional Council was contacted and removed the mess, the concerned father said.
But tracing the container has proved impossible, with the barcode and name of the company on the container only leading to the distributor who distributes widely to a range of customers including surgeries, ambulances and veterinarian clinics.
"My issue is we can't trace it," he said.
"It's going to be very hard to get someone to own up and say I've lost this."
Now the parents of the Gympie region school student are on their way to the Royal Brisbane Hospital to find out more about the medication their son has been prescribed, which is already giving the nine-year-old some flu-like symptoms they were warned about.
"What about the medication that goes into my son's body - what does that do to his liver, kidneys and immune system?," the patient's father said.
The frustrated father is calling for change in the way sharps containers are handled - for a system to be tracked and traceable.
"We still don't know what it was - whether it was from a human or an animal.
"I would hate for someone's else's family to go through this.
"It's a very low act, I think."