A 92-year-old woman was forced to sit outside the hospital for two hours in the cold due to “substantial stuff” with the Covid-19 test.
A great-grandmother was forced to wait in the cold for two hours outside the hospital where she wanted to be admitted.
Maureen Wortley, 92, sat outside the emergency department at Lyell McEwin Hospital in North Adelaide at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday night in her dressing gown after falling, her family said.
The elderly woman was taken to the facility by family members after they called an ambulance and were told they would not receive one until 4:00 or 5:00.
While Ms. Wortley waited to be triaged, she was asked to undergo repeated Covid-19 tests before she was allowed to enter the hospital.
Ms. Wortley’s daughter-in-law, Lili Csongrady, told ABC Radio that Ms. Wortley was asked to sit on her walker outside the hospital.
“She was not provided with a wheelchair or blanket (and) she was asked to sit on her walker outside at 10 or 12 degrees,” Ms. Csongrady said.
“She had already received the rapid test as soon as she arrived and then was left there to wait there for two hours.
“There were some trainee nurses who were coming not realizing that she had done a RAT and then they said she had to do another one several times.”
The family also said hospital staff had access to heaters, but waiting patients did not.
Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas called the incident a “substantial stuff”.
“We saw someone not receiving the kind of care that any Australian with some degree of compassion would want to see or certainly expect,” she said.
“We saw a person stuck outside Lyell Mac because we didn’t see the investment needed in health capacity.”
The hospital has set up an outdoor Covid screening tent once the pandemic has started to prevent positive patients from spreading the virus to other patients.
The testing process should only take about 20 minutes.
“There was a small miscommunication by a couple of nurses in the external triage space and by the staff running the RAT tests, so there was no considerable risk to anyone,”
Dr. Penny Conor of SA Health’s Northern Adelaide Health Network said.
“I probably wouldn’t describe it as a substantial stuff, but yeah, we could have done better.
“Once again, I apologize, unreservedly, to the family.”
The hospital’s testing practice has since been revised and changes will be implemented: all patients will wear N95 masks, the Covid screening area will be moved indoors, and an additional triage nurse will be assigned to help with the application. .
Dr Conor said the outdoor tents would only be used if capacity was reached indoors, but better heating and seating would be provided in such a scenario.
Originally published as ‘Substantial stuff’: a 92-year-old woman left waiting outside the hospital in the cold