Octogenarian spends eight hours in an ER chair with broken backs

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Octogenarian spends eight hours in a chair in the ER with broken backs

Geraldine Simard and her husband Gérard, at the hospital.

An Outaouais family is calling on elected officials to immediately make changes to how patients are treated in the healthcare system after a bad experience that spanned a few days.

The lack of staff continues to wreak havoc in hospitals in the Outaouais. Géraldine Simard, 82, had to wait eight hours in a reclining chair in the emergency room in Buckingham, while suffering from back pain.

Her family regrets that she received inadequate health care due to understaffing.

Last Tuesday, Michael Simard, the lady's son, had to contact the paramedics since he found his mother in tears and complaining of back pain. According to Mr. Simard, the paramedics were very reluctant to transfer his mother to the emergency room, asking him on several occasions if he was certain that transport was necessary, given the many hours of waiting in the emergency room.

Geraldine Simard had to wait eight hours on a reclining chair despite back fractures.

Once in the emergency room from Buckingham Hospital, Ms. Simard was given the lowest priority, despite her complaints. For lack of beds, the octogenarian had to wait on a reclining chair. Examinations later showed that the latter had broken backs attributable to osteoporosis.

“It took about 8 hours before she saw a doctor. »

— Michael Simard, son of Géraldine Simard

On Friday, Ms. Simard had to be transferred to Wakefield Hospital, taking her away from her husband and its network. We really didn't feel welcome at first, said Mr. Simard, adding that he felt the frustration of the already overworked staff. I felt that my mother was disturbing.

In an interview, Mr. Simard explained that his mother had also had to spend more than a day with a bandage soiled with fecal matter, as no one had had time to change it and we refused. let the family take care of it.

Michael Simard's mother is now at the Wakefield Memorial Hospital.

I would have had better veterinary care for my dog ​​than for my mother, he says. It makes no sense!

Despite the insufficient care, Michael Simard does not blame the nursing staff, but worries for the many patients who are not lucky enough to have a family as large and present as his mother. . Throughout her hospitalization, Ms. Simard was able to count on her family to feed her, bathe her, follow up with the staff since they did not have time to take care of the care. her.

He is calling for better services for seniors, starting now. Words are worthless, actions are what it takes, he says in an interview. My mother doesn't have five years to wait for the services to be set up, she doesn't even have five days to wait.

“What is important to me is that my mother is cared for, that she is safe and that she does not have pain, that's all. »

— Michael Simard

In the midst of the provincial election campaign, Michael Simard hopes that his message will be heard by party leaders.

By email, the Outaouais Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) indicated that it was unable to comment on this specific case for reasons of confidentiality.

However, we can say that when he arrived at the emergency room, the occupancy rate was abnormally high, we defend ourselves. In order to provide care as quickly as possible, we sometimes offer patients waiting for a hospital bed a transfer to another hospital in the region, the agreement is agreed. ;first validated with users, otherwise it is possible that the process will be mandatory.

Wakefield Memorial Hospital Entrance

This explanation, which does not convince the Union of Healthcare Professionals of Outaouais. Its president, Karine d'Auteuil, argues that the lack of staff, closed beds and work overload compromise the quality of care.

“The government has been sitting in the sand for decades. »

— Karine D'Auteuil, president of the Union of Care Professionals of Outaouais

The latter understands the family's dissatisfaction with the transfer of the Lady. It's not something we like to see, she adds. This patient was transferred to receive safe care.

Ms. D'Auteuil is asking the government for long-term solutions and not just bonuses. She also wants a patient-to-nurse ratio law implemented and working conditions improved to support already strained staff.

With information from Gabriel Le Marquand Perreault, Alexandra Anger and Rémi Authier

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