Thank you to Carmen who put the following guide together for mesh injured Australians:
Have you reported your mesh complication to the TGA?
No? If any of these reasons apply to you, then do not worry. I have the answer
1. The form is too long and complicated.
Answer: We have volunteers who can help you work through it. Generally, when assisted, it takes around 30 minutes!!
2. I don’t have a computer.
Answer: Well we do! You can relay the information to our volunteer, and still submit your form.
3. I don’t know what they mean by ‘supplier’ on the form.
Answer: Our volunteers have recorded all the suppliers of past and present available mesh products in Australia, and their addresses. Just ask – firstname.lastname@example.org
4. I don’t know what type of implant I have.
Answer: You can still report your complication based on the information that you do have. We can help narrow down the possibilities and assist in filling the form out as best possible.
5. I don’t want my doctor to find out.
Answer: You do not give the name of the implanting surgeon or your doctor on the form. So they don’t even have to know.
6. I’m really not that bad.
Answer: The TGA is required to document all adverse events, whether it be pain, foreign body response, surgical injury, infection, erosion, or even persistent discomfort. They are even obliged to document any near miss!!
7. I don’t want to cause trouble.
Answer: Reporting an adverse event is not causing trouble, it is following correct process. That is what it is set up for.
8. I don’t understand the abbreviations. I don’t even know what TGA is.
Answer: The TGA stands for Therapeutic Goods Administration. It is THE regulatory body that allows medicines and implants to be used in Australia. It is there job to engage in surveillance of all health products. (And we can help with any other abbreviations too!)
9. I think my doctor should do that.
Answer: Good point, but most don’t. That is why the TGA permits direct consumer reporting.