HELEN ODONNELL: The NSW Nurses Association branch secretary is unhappy with the lack of beds available in the LBH emergency de
HELEN ODONNELL: The NSW Nurses Association branch secretary is unhappy with the lack of beds available in the LBH emergency de

Horror stories at the Base

By ANDY PARKS

PATIENTS attending the emergency department at Lismore Base Hospital are being put at risk because of a shortfall of beds, according to Helen O'Donnell, the branch secretary of the NSW Nurses Association at the hospital.

She cited several horror stories of patients being given sub-standard or inappropriate treatment in recent weeks.

"One day last week we had four women arrive at the emergency department having had miscarriages. This is a hugely distressing situation for them. They've just lost a baby and we didn't have beds for any of them. All four women had to sit and wait in chairs until they could get into surgery. Most of them we managed to get into an office space so they had some privacy, but one woman had to give her whole gynaecological and obstetrics history to a doctor in the corridor. It was just awful."

Another case involved a person who had suffered an anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

The patient collapsed on the floor in the corridor, and then had to be given life-saving treatment where they were lying.

She said staff was fed up with the situation. This week nurses voted to continue their campaign for extra resources at hospitals in the Richmond Valley. They rejected the response from the executive of the Lismore Base Hospital to the list of demands they presented last week.

Ms O'Donnell said when people come into a hospital it was reasonable to expect that they got a bed and the care that comes with the ward.

A spokesperson for the hospital said they were investigating these matters and would respond when able to identify the individual cases.



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