START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
1,910,999 people care about Health Policy

Get Injured Inside A Hospital? Call An Ambulance

Get Injured Inside A Hospital? Call An Ambulance

The Keystone Kops had to be running the Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls, ON last week.

That was when Doreen Wallace, 82, fell down inside the double doors of the hospital. Mrs Wallace was leaving the hospital with her son after having visited her dying husband when she fell. Mrs Wallace, who already had a broken arm, sustained a broken leg and a lacerated arm in the fall and was therefore left in obvious pain and distress.

You would think that being in the doorway of a hospital, 50 yards from the emergency room, would mean rapid care for an injured person, right?

Not so much. Mrs Wallace was told that nobody could assist her, and to “call an ambulance.”

The reason an ambulance was required is unclear; the hospital is blaming it on a “communication failure,” but it appears to be policy. Policy, failure, or other, the issue meant that Mrs Wallace lay on the floor of the hospital entranceway while a security guard held a paper towel to the wound on her arm for more than 30 minutes as they waited for an ambulance to be sent from a neighbouring hospital — the paramedics at Greater Niagara General were busy.

Finally, an orthopedic surgeon walked by the scene, apparently the first person to come by with a lick of common sense. He helped Mrs Keys into a wheelchair — despite it not being “policy” — and brought her in to get medical attention.

Mrs Keys is now at home and on the mend. Her family is considering legal action, but she just wants her story to help other people from having to go through the same thing.

Related Stories:

Who Should Be Called Doctor?

Bill would Force Hospitals To Confirm Citizenship Prior To Care

Health Care Dollars Wasted In The Emergency Room

Photo Credit:lydiashiningbrightly on Flickr.

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
5:19PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

That poor woman! I hope she heals well and soon, and that her husband recovers, or if he has no chance of that, that he passaway peacefully surrounded by loved ones.
I also hope that a case such as this never happens again!

9:22AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Sheer stupidity.No excuse.

6:31PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Mrs Wallace (or Keys, whichever the case may be) was with her son at the time she fell. Why didn't he do something?

10:05AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

Steve R. The resident idiot, as usual, spewing nonsense, unless it was HIM who was mistreated in a hospital, then it would be ok. What a jackass!

6:48AM PDT on Oct 27, 2011

if something like this happened to anyone in my family i would not sit calmly, there will be yelling and screaming until someone did something. If that happened to me i would be yelling and screaming for help, they had no right to just let her sit there and get another hospital to take care of it. she was there and they could have helped her instantly

7:39PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011


7:31PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

I have always thought some rules are ment to be broken

7:01PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

First, I worked for the system that includes the Niagara Hosp.The reason for calling an ambulance for non inpatients is due to a directive issued about 5 years ago.Staff were injuring themselves trying to lift people who were not patients.This was instituted for people like some 450lb man who would get to the parking lot with a broken foot & expect a 90lb nurse to lift him out of the car.A broken foot can wait for assistance thus preventing an injury.The problem is, this was a blanket directive & did not account for someone like this lady or someone having a heart attack where time is of the essence.I broke the directive myself many times for compassionate or urgent medical reasons but if I was injured, tough for me.This was basically just a major PR cock-up because she could have been helped.She didn't weigh 500lbs & was right in the entrance.Someone at least could stay with her & comfort her so the wait did not seem so long.Also, the paramedics apparently arrived in 8 mins. but could have been called more quickly.This was just stupid & created a major PR mess.

6:09PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Thank goodness for the security guard and the doctor for helping this poor woman. She did not deserve to be treated so indifferently.

5:47PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

Stever R. President Bush had it fixed you can't slap a doctor with a malpractice law suit of any kid. So were screwed one way or the other like a used car lot driving off with a 50/50 chance.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.