Policy change

Section: 
Letter

A copy of this letter was also sent to the Director of Patient Care, the board chair and the CEO of the SBGHC.

Several weeks ago my husband Norm, an insulin-dependent diabetic, developed nausea and chest pains just as he finished a small afternoon snack. A call to 911 resulted in a quick ambulance ride to the emergency unit of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) in Kincardine.

I snatched up his insulin pens, meds dosette and wheelchair and hurried to meet him there. As we waited for results of lab tests, the supper hour came and went. A nurse managed to produce a crumpled package of soda crackers in the hopes of tiding Norm over until he could go home. However the decision was made to keep him in the ER overnight for observation and the search for a meal began. Finally the nurse brought a sandwich, which our family doctor later informed me she had purchased from the machine with her own money.

Apparently another patient found herself in similar circumstances that same evening.

Two days later, an early morning bout of chest pains sent Norm to the ER again. As I had been attacked by a nasty flu bug overnight, I felt it was prudent not to accompany him. At about 3:30 p.m. a phone call announced that he could be discharged. After a call to Saugeen Mobility to arrange Norm’s ride, I collected his clothes and wheelchair and went to get him ready to leave. I found a very irate husband - a diabetic who had been given nothing to eat all day as food is not available in the ER for nurses to give to their patients.

In my opinion this is a most unreasonable situation. The nurses who make every effort to provide excellent care should not be limited in this respect. If any reader or a family member has had a similar experience, please make the powers that be aware of it. A change in policy should be made!

Sincerely,

Ruth Anne Robinson, Kincardine