Woman Breaks Hip in Hospital, Told to Call Ambulance

ambulanceIf an elderly woman were to fall and break her hip in a hospital lobby, you'd think she'd get immediate attention and care, right? Wrong. Eighty-two-year-old Doreen Wallace took a digger inside the Niagara Falls General Hospital on October 8 and was shocked by the unresponsiveness of the medical professionals around her and, frankly, so was everyone else. As she lay on the ground bloodied and bruised, the hospital staff told her she had to call an ambulance if she needed help. An ambulance.

A kind security guard helped Wallace wrap her head in a dirty towel and wipe away some of the blood while she waited for an emergency vehicle to come pick her up and take her to where she already was.

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The poor woman lay on the ground for 30 minutes until an orthopedic surgeon happened to walk by and take action. He helped move Wallace into a wheelchair and got her the medical attention she needed.

Hospital officials are rightfully embarrassed by this but say that the staff was probably following out-of-date rules that told them that calling an ambulance was the right thing to do. Clearly there aren't too many freethinkers on staff -- or maybe they're so afraid to break the rules that they wouldn't help out an old lady who's fallen and broken a hip -- but in any case, the staff needs to be retrained.

Could you imagine lying on the floor of a hospital lobby with a fractured bone with no one to help you? It's like one of those nightmares where you scream but nobody hears you. Honestly, if that had happened to me, I would've convinced myself that I was hallucinating. That yes, I'd had a bad fall, and obviously I've bumped my head because this cannot be happening. There's just no other explanation for a nurse to tell me to call an ambulance when I'm 50 feet from the E.R.

All Mrs. Wallace is asking for is an apology, and I'll be damned if that's not more than fair. Kinda makes me nervous though ... if this is how a private hospital treats patients, what's going to happen if they become public?

Can you believe this story?

 

Photo via grainger/Flickr

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