ER experiences both nightmares

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Wait times continue to be an issue at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's emergency department.

Editor: My husband and I both had to go to the Emergency Department at the QEH within the last three weeks and both of us experienced long, frustrating wait times. My husband, a diabetic, was first put into triage, but then was returned to the waiting area (among 20 other people) while using an oxygen tank.

He was ignored until I approached the triage nurse and questioned the fact that no one had checked on him for hours for either his blood sugars or his breathing issues. He was then reassessed and put into a room where a doctor saw him a few hours later. He was well looked after by the doctor at that time. He was there for a total of seven hours.

I went to emergency to get a tetanus shot and an antibiotic prescription after a cat bite. What took five minutes to do resulted in a four-hour wait. An hour and a half in the main waiting area, and two and a half hours in the "rapid" assessment room — a bit of an oxymoron.

Our visits to emergency took a long time and were very frustrating, but they were nothing compared to what Mr. Sutherland described in his letter to the editor in Tuesday's Guardian. Why anyone in severe pain, who was unable to sit down, was denied a bed to lie on and had to lie on the floor in the waiting area in our hospital for five hours is beyond comprehension.

I was so appalled by what I had read that I felt I just had to express my concern about the lack of empathy shown to Mr. Sutherland while waiting for over five hours to see a doctor. There is something very wrong with a system that treats anyone in this manner. There has to be a better way to run an emergency department than what is described here, both for patients like my husband and me, and especially for patients like Mr. Sutherland.

Cathy Sprague,


Organizations: Emergency Department

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