independent

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Son hits out at mother's hospital wait

Marisa Reidy

Published 13/11/2013 | 05:36

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A NORTH Kerry man has made an official complaint to Kerry General Hospital after his 82-year-old mother waited 12 hours in the hospital's emergency department before being admitted with a kidney and urinary tract infection.

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A NORTH Kerry man has made an official complaint to Kerry General Hospital after his 82-year-old mother waited 12 hours in the hospital's emergency department before being admitted with a kidney and urinary tract infection.

Michael McElligott, pictured, from Tarbert believes that it was only because he insisted that his mother should have in-patient care that she finally got a bed last Saturday night, after being initially told she could go home on pain killers.

The 82-year-old had been taken to KGH by ambulance after Michael found her in her home, unable to move with severe pain on Saturday morning.

She arrived at the emergency unit at 11.30am and was put into a treatment cubicle, where she remained until 5.45pm. She was seen by a doctor during that time.

Mr McElligott said that at 4.15pm he was told his mother would be released with a prescription for pain killers.

"She was still lying there unable to move at this stage. She was not able to sit up on the stretcher, never mind attempt to stand or walk," Mr McElligott said. "I explained that we could not treat her condition at home and this is why we called emergency services for help. I said I was staying there until such time as she received more help for her condition. My mother got so upset she asked if we could lay her into the back seat of the car and take her home."

Shortly before 5pm, the family asked if staff could do blood tests. Blood and urine samples subsequently revealed that Mrs McElligott was suffering from a kidney and urinary tract infection. She was then moved to another cubicle where she was given an IV antibiotic and more pain relief.

At 9pm, a doctor told Mrs McElligott that she would be admitted and at 11.30pm she was given a bed in the Skellig Ward, where she remains this week.

Mr McElligott says he has since made an official complaint to the hospital.

"My mother has never been a burden throughout her life on the HSE. She only sees a doctor if it is totally necessary. She has worked hard all her life and raised a large family again never asking for medical help even though she now has a medical card," he said.

"I am furious about this. She couldn't walk and was in serious pain, and I was told to take her home.

"A lot of elderly people won't speak up for themselves so that's why I feel so strongly about this. If I wasn't a strong willed person my mother would be at home now with this infection. I'm not having that," he said.

Kerryman

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