A Canadian woman died after waiting for seven hours to be seen by medial professionals at one of the country’s socialized hospitals, her family said.
Allison Holthoff was a 37-year-old women who initially went to the emergency room for an upset stomach on January 1st. She began suffering extreme pain the night before and by the time she and her husband when to seek medical treatment, he had to carry her on her back before finding a wheelchair.
“She was obviously in pain,” her husband Gunter told CBC News. “I was rolling her in the wheelchair and she could hardly sit up.”
The husband noted that his wife was triaged fairly quickly, but that no further care was provided and the pair was left waiting for the next seven hours.
“I told the nurses and the lady at the desk there a couple of times, ‘It is getting worse,’ and nothing happened,” he continued. “So the security guards, in time, they brought a couple blankets out and they brought us a cup of water and I used it to put some ice on her lips.”
“I think that she actually started saying that she thought she was dying in the waiting room outside,” he said. “But she kept saying it more and more. She said, ‘I think I’m dying. Don’t let me die here.’ And I said, ‘No, that’s why I’ve got you in the hospital.’ “
The husband then shared that at about the six-hour mark of waiting, his wife was moved to a new room. However, this room did not have any medical equipment and was just a new station for her to wait some more. Meanwhile, her situation was still deteriorating.
An hour after that transition, a doctor finally came to see her and she was given pain medication. She was also getting prepped for an X-ray but at this point was struggling to breathe on her own.
“The next thing is [her] eyes rolled back in her head and her chest started rising. Something started beeping,” the husband said. “The next thing you hear is over the PA, ‘code blue, code blue in X-ray.’ “
People reported that the next thing to happen were three ultimately futile efforts to revive his wife. He was also asked to leave the room.
Gunter recalled that he was quickly asked to leave the room while medical staff attempted to resuscitate Allison three times. However, she ultimately died. He noted that although the family is still waiting on an autopsy, he believes the healthcare system has a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
“We need change, the system is obviously broken. Or if it’s not broken yet, it’s not too far off,” he said of the awful conditions leading to his wife’s death. “Something needs to improve. I don’t want anybody else to go through this.”
“Unfortunately, I feel like we were neglected until it was to a point they couldn’t ignore us anymore,” Gunter said in a separate interview. “At that point, it was just too late.”
Featured image: Facebook.
"*" indicates required fields