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Letter: Overcrowded hospital means an 89-year-old woman with dementia spent hours in a hallway

Where is the dignity, reader wonders

It’s a crying shame when an 89-year-old woman with dementia, who had just been admitted to the hospital, was forced to stay in the hallway today while she was having hallucinations and outbursts even after her doctor requested a private room for her. 

Being in the hallway only exacerbated her condition, and it was much later that evening before hospital staff found unused office space on the fourth floor of the north tower to put her in. 

When the fourth-floor nursing staff called for a private bed in the south tower, they were told that none were available, when actually there was at least one available.

I must say the nursing staff did the best they could under the circumstances. They even tried advocating for this poor woman. Her physician said that having her in a tub room would be better for her than in the hallway.

On Health Sciences North's quality improvement plan webpage, under quality patient care, it states and I quote, “Health Sciences North has a strong commitment to patient safety and quality improvement.”

Please tell me, Mr. Giroux, president and CEO of Health Sciences North, how did her quality improve being left in the hallway for several hours strapped to a gurney and yelling her head off, having strangers walking by her all the time and continually having her medicated in order to calm her down because of the location she was in, so that she would not disturb other patients?

My disgust with this treatment is beyond words. This woman worked at the hospital, in a supervisory position for 22 years. It is incomprehensible how she was treated, having no dignity shown to her.

Stray dogs are taken better care of than she was in the hallway today.

Maybe Health Sciences North should post this letter on their quality improvement plan webpage under quality patient care as a reminder as to the recent services they provide.

K. Jorgensen