Thursday 22 August 2019

Man (65) who broke arm got just two painkillers and had to sleep on trolley

Katherine and Gerard McKenna. Mr McKenna spent a night on a hospital trolley in Tallaght Hospital
Katherine and Gerard McKenna. Mr McKenna spent a night on a hospital trolley in Tallaght Hospital
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

The daughter of a man hospitalised after a traumatic accident has claimed the health "system is breaking down" after he spent almost 10 hours in A&E, slept on a trolley overnight, and was given just two painkillers over 24 hours.

Gerard McKenna (65), from Tallaght, Dublin, fell from his truck in the yard of the garage where he works on November 9. He broke his arm in two places and caused significant damage to his shoulder.

Daughter Katherine said the nurses who cared for Mr McKenna in Tallaght Hospital were "angels", but she said they were under too much pressure and the system was at breaking point.

"We went in at 10pm on the Thursday and he didn't get seen for an X-ray until 8.30am on Friday, by that stage his arm was so swollen and painful," she said. "He had been left in the A&E department overnight and it's so uncomfortable, there's no food and he was in pain."

Initially medics thought they would be able to manipulate the arm, but another X-ray showed he needed surgery and he had to wait another 24 hours as there was no bed available.

He spent the night on a trolley in the A&E corridor.

Ms McKenna said her father's ordeal was made worse by a lack of pain relief.

"My dad is a man who has worked all of his life...he's paid his fair share of taxes in this country, he has very rarely ever needed help from the health system in this country, so for him to be left like that is so frustrating," she said.

Ms McKenna said the health system was "breaking down".

"There just doesn't seem to be enough people on the ground and it's causing a huge amount of stress for the staff who are there and are doing their best," she said.

A spokesman for Tallaght Hospital said it could not comment on individual cases, but apologised "to any patient who has had a negative experience during treatment at the hospital".

Irish Independent

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