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Saturday, September 12, 2009

QE2 Hell-Hole

Posted on Sat, Sep 12, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Alright; I'll add this to the pile. It's been a hell of a day, and Nobody expects these people to be perfect, but there's a lot to be said for a little professionalism and compassion. Bare with me.

It starts out like this: after a prompt response from 911 to the medical emergency in question, we arrive at the hospital in fine shape. We wait approximately 45 minutes for a bed (which I was told was quick) and we go in. This is where things go haywire. It is determined that X-rays are required to investigate the issue at hand, which understandably does not happen instantaneously. It takes 2 hours and three saline bags later to get an X-ray. Okay, I'm not a doctor, so I really can't say if it was busy or not. So I accept it. X-ray happens and it is determined that surgery is required. By this time, my wife and I are starving and we have to leave to eat, so we do, after discussing with the surgeon we are told that there is plenty of time to grab a bite.

We return, only to find the room locked. Okay, maybe it's locked to let the patient rest. I break down and ask a nurse who was happened to pass by to see if they had been transferred to surgery. The nurse proceeds to tell me that it's not her side of the emergency room, but she'll find someone that'll come out and give us an update (which is the medical equivalent of "it's not my department/job, so fuck off"). 40 minutes later the surgeon comes down and has to actually go around to the other side of the room to unlock the door, only to find out that the nurses had locked it during an exam and the forgot to unlock it. It's now approximately 4 PM and I'm told that start to finish, the surgery should only take about 3 hours. We head up to the 5th floor at the request of the surgeon, so that we can get updates, etc, which I'm told would happen every hour.

We wait until about 6 PM, and after no updates, I wander down the hallway to find the nurses escaping the ward like a bunch of scared roaches, and the door to the OR locked. So, it looks like no updates for me. Down I go to the 4th floor to the inpatient wards for post recovery. Maybe, I thought, I'd get an answer from the nurses down there. I thought wrong.

After being told that she had not been transferred to the ward yet, I'm led to believe that she's not out of the OR yet. So, back to waiting. It's now 8PM and I find that she's being transferred to another ward. We got there and after waiting about an hour, we're told that she's being transferred to the ICU. Now this shit is getting serious, yet we still have not received a smidgen of information on what was really going on. The only thing we know is that she was transferred to ICU. Up to the 5th floor again.

I pick up the phone to the nurses station and I'm met with the most acerbic nurse on the planet: "5-2 ICU, good evening", I say hello and request to see if she's been transferred yet and I'm told matter-of-factly: "we don't have a person by that name here" and that I should "go check with the OR" Wait, the OR that closed 5 hours ago? Finally, I decide to leave. It's about 11PM, and I'm exhausted. I'm angry, to top it all off, because a simple surgery turned into a life-and-death situation and I've been met with nothing but roadblocks, in terms of information. I expect a similar response tomorrow. Thanks a lot Capital Health, you're a bunch of fucking morons.

---Frustrated Next-of-Kin

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