A story has surfaced that has absolutely lit me up into a foaming tizzy especially in this day and age:
When Doreen Wallace fell and broke her hip in the lobby of a Niagara Falls hospital, she figured at least she’d get help — and fast.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, the 82-year-old Wallace — who was leaving with her son after visiting her dying husband at Greater Niagara General Hospital on Oct. 8 — was told by staff no one could help her until an ambulance was called.
Now I don’t want to seem unreasonable here. I can understand if you are a medical facility in a campus type setting with numerous buildings that aren’t all attached and the need to call an ambulance to transport a patient to the emergency room. I can perhaps understand if the patient is outside in a predicament that you don’t necessarily have the tools or training for, like an auto accident. Is that the case here?
It appears not to be.
So why in the world would they leave a patient on the floor of their lobby for over 30 minutes until an ambulance was called? Are you trying to tell me hospital staff are not trained for patient falls? Are you trying to tell me they don’t have a stretcher with wheels? That they don’t have access to a long board in the entire hospital?
If those are any of your excuses, shut the hospital down. Now. You’ll probably save a life by doing so. Since I doubt those are the issues, what is the REAL issue there? It’s simpler than it may seem.
The staff failed to act appropriately with some compassion and critical thinking for a reason. The administrators will have you believe it is a “communication problem” or an issue regarding the failure to follow policy. I say it is the culture of apathy that has developed at that facility
This really reminds me of the story that came out of China about the two year old run over by a truck and left to die in the road as dozens of people walked by unwilling to render aid. So are we really better than they are? Perhaps towards the young, but shouldn’t it be towards everyone regardless of age, sex, or creed?
It’s this kind of ambient stupidity that causes EMS systems to be undercut in reimbursements and overwhelmed with call volume.