'My son was let down by the system.. Fix it before it's too late for others'
A CONCERNED mother has revealed that her teenage son had to endure a nine-hour wait in A&E, despite the fact that he was experiencing chest pains and had a deep gash on his forehead.
The 14-year-old was eventually put under general anaesthetic so the wound on his forehead could be stitched, but this came the day after he sustained the injury.
Annette Kennedy told the Irish Independent that after an accident in which her son hit his head two weeks ago, she immediately rushed him to Roscommon hospital.
His wound was dressed there but he was then transferred to Galway University Hospital for further treatment.
"On our journey to Galway, his condition changed. He began to complain of a pain in his chest," she said.
"I arrived at the desk in A&E in the University Hospital Galway at approximately 9.30pm. I explained to the girl at reception about the change in circumstances and the pain he now had in his chest."
Her paperwork was then taken by the assessment nurse on duty, but another hour passed before her son was called.
After an assessment, another emergency arose, which meant that the nurse was called away. When she returned, Ms Kennedy said she raised her concerns with her again and was told: "You can see we are very busy, we will get to you when we can."
In the hours that followed, Ms Kennedy approached the casualty unit on six different occasions, but said that they were "still left unattended".
The teen had also fallen asleep at this stage, and Ms Kennedy said that she woke him intermittently to check that "he could open his eyes, that his pupils were reacting to light and that he was able to respond to me".
She said her son's name was eventually called shortly before 4am and he was eventually given a bed, and that at 6.30am a doctor came to her son's side.
"I felt that my son was let down by the health system. Please, if there is one thing to come from this horrible experience, let it be a lesson learned. Fix this system before it is too late for some family," the parent pleaded.
A spokesperson for the hospital last night said: "The emergency department are always busy places, and the hospital is always mindful of the patients waiting to be seen. So all patients must be seen in order of clinical priority."
The hospital confirmed that it was in contact with the patient's mother.