Sunday 17 December 2017

Probe launched after death of woman on trolley in hospital emergency dept

University Hospital Galway.
University Hospital Galway.
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the death of an elderly woman who died on a trolley in a Galway emergency department last week.

The 88-year-old woman was brought to University Hospital Galway from a Connemara nursing home last Wednesday after she was referred by a doctor.

However, as the hospital was at full capacity at the time, the elderly woman, who had a history of cardiac issues, was left waiting on a trolley for a number of hours in the public waiting area.

It is understood the woman may have suffered a cardiac event and passed away on the trolley.

A statement from the Saolta Hospital Group, which manages the hospital, said an external review of the case would take place.

"The circumstances of this case will be reviewed externally in conjunction with the National Ambulance Service.

"The Saolta University Health Care Group and the National Ambulance Service have offered the family concerned our deepest sympathy and will be communicating directly with them in relation to the review process," it added.

The review will be carried out by an ED consultant from outside the hospital group.

It will look at the events which took place upon the patients arrival at the hospital.

It will also consider the manner in which she was brought to hospital and the initial referral to hospital.

Local councillor Padraig Conneely said he wants the matter investigated separately by HIQA.

"For a woman in her 80s to die on a trolley in such a public place is undignified and monstrous. It goes to show that the Emergency Departement at UHG is not fit for purpose and it raises questions about the entire system of the HSE.

"We need a thorough investigation into this matter and HIQA needs to be involved in this," he added.

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