Tuesday 20 August 2019

Pensioner is left waiting four nights in A&E for bed

A pensioner suffering from Parkinson’s disease and a heart condition was left waiting on a trolley for four nights amid high levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). (stock photo)
A pensioner suffering from Parkinson’s disease and a heart condition was left waiting on a trolley for four nights amid high levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). (stock photo)
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

A pensioner suffering from Parkinson's disease and a heart condition was left waiting on a trolley for four nights amid high levels of overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

Denis Mulcahy (79), from Kilmallock, Co Limerick, attended the emergency department last Friday night after presenting with a concussion, his son Joe said.

He said the overcrowded conditions in the hospital were like a "cattle mart".

During the week, nursing union the INMO claimed a record 92 patients were waiting on trolleys for hospital beds in UHL. The Dáil was told of scenes of "utter chaos" in the hospital.

He said his father was admitted to a bed in a ward after spending four days in the emergency department.

"I'm very angry about it. My father has worked hard all of his life, paid his taxes, and this is how he is being treated," Joe told the 'Limerick Leader'. "It keeps happening, and it's my father today but tomorrow it could be someone else's mother or father. The problem is going on for years and years now. Enough is enough, people are fed up," he added.

Mr Mulcahy was admitted to the emergency department on the same day UHL closed its 17-bed Ward 1A. A spokesperson for the hospital said: "It regrets especially when elderly patients face long waits."

There were "high volumes" of over-75s presenting to the ED in recent days, the spokesperson added.

The UL Hospitals Group is working on a number of initiatives for patients aged 75 and older to prioritise them for treatment in A&Es.

Irish Independent

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