Adverse events are part of the medical and mental health systems and our most defenceless seniors and handicapped citizens require strong advocates to be their voices in the mess. Such incidents as this one highlight the responsibility of families to their vulnerable senior members who are not able to access the help they need. Go public folks.
Because some of us have no contact with the medical system we might find this story of a senior sent home with a leaking needle to be traumatic but I don't find it that odd. After trying to get help for my handicapped sister over decades I find the health care system to be rather impermeable to citizens and their problems.
Over the years in Alberta we have had many fine changes in the health care system but these changes have not translated into safer or better services for our most disadvantaged and defenceless seniors and handicapped citizens. I feel that if you are able to speak for yourself and eventually access media attention you might be fine in the chaotic medical system. It's another situation if you can't speak for yourself, if you don't have strong advocates and if you are stigmatized with the labels of being old, prone to memory/insight problems or frank mental illness.
The most vulnerable among us are the old and the mentally ill. Who speaks for them? Their families. Here is one man speaking for his mother who can't understand why she was sent home dripping blood. These sorts of adverse events happen and investigations occur but in the end if there are no "learnings" to be gained from such adverse events in the system, they repeat. I guess they will continue to repeat until enough families go public with such poor outcomes for their old and frail family members. In this case, poor quality control led to this case of a senior being traumatised. It's the sort of situation no family member should endure and yet even worse things happen to folks and we don't hear about them. Maybe the silence should end and we should all do as Morris Tingley is doing here--which is going public. This is the sort of event that ensures that folks in health authorities ensure that adverse events don't repeat and that our most defenceless seniors and handicapped citizens get the care they need.
This is not as mind boggling as you would expect. I've taken family to hospital and have had doctors tell me that there is no beds available and to call the government of Alberta. Other times they have said -what should we do about resuscitation when the green sleeve has the personal directive indicating full resuscitation. I've looked at data now in my sister's file that shows the doctors discussing her health choice of no intubation as being reasonable when she had sky high CO2 levels. The only constant in this business is the most vulnerable defenceless seniors are at risk and need strong advocates. Good thing this senior has one because without such advocates, it's very difficult to access supports and services in a productive fashion.