Sep 21, 2023

Son, older mum wait for 10 hours in Emergency Dept queue

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Alexander Zadow said he won’t be subjecting his mum to long ED wait times again and will instead call an ambulance. [Source: 9News]

Hospital systems and paramedics across the country have consistently been under the pump due to hospital ramping crises – causing patients to wait excruciatingly long hours to get into an Emergency Department (ED) or be seen by a clinician. That’s what happened to this older Adelaide woman who was forced to wait 10 hours for treatment at a hospital in the city’s northern suburbs.

Margaret Zadow, 88, travelled to the Lyell McEwin Hospital’s ED at about 2.45pm on Monday to seek treatment for a painful leg ulcer after being referred for treatment by her General Practitioner (GP).

After arriving at the Lyell McEwin, Ms Zadow spent about an hour and a half in a queue waiting to be triaged with her son Alexander. A doctor did not see the pair until 12.45am on Tuesday morning.

Mr Zadow said they were in the waiting room with about two dozen other people who were all banking on being next in the queue but were sadly disappointed. He also alleges hospital staff didn’t offer patients refreshments, such as water, during their long wait. 

“There would’ve been a dozen people that left that I heard saying, ‘this is ridiculous’,” he told 9News.

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88-year-old Margaret Zadow. [Source: 9News]

Mr Zandow said he would “not put my mother through that again, I won’t put myself through that again, and that next time if we need it, we will ring an ambulance” – an opinion many would have that could further compound our ramping crisis.

Opposition Leader David Spears said paramedics had claimed that Monday “was their worst day in living memory,” as the ramping crisis at the Royal Adelaide Hospital continues.

The State Government said there were 40% more 000 calls compared to a usual Monday as all metropolitan public hospitals were on Code White and fell back into the Code at lunchtime of Tuesday.

Code While is when EDs are at more than 125% capacity. On Monday, the system ran out of beds which saw 529 people being treated or waiting to be seen compared to usual citywide capacity of 312.

Health Minister Chris Picton claimed the issue was being addressed, mentioning a 32-bed facility at the Repat Health Precinct in Daw Park, that is currently under construction.

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