A Longueuil woman says her health and safety were compromised after she waited four days for an emergency surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Last Wednesday, Genevieve Ridley went to the hospital’s emergency room with intense pain.
“I was at a nine on 10 on the pain scale,” she said.
Her gall bladder was inflamed, and Ridley was told it needed to be removed.
According to Ridley, doctors sent her to emergency surgery, and “that’s when everything stalled,” she said. “Everything stopped there for four days.”
Over those four days, Ridley alleges she was given oxycodone and forced to fast.
“Friday, they called me in at 8 p.m. We thought there was going to be a parade for me, finally, my day in the O.R … and I’m on the gurney and I say goodbye to my mom … and somebody runs down the halls and says: ‘Never mind, get her off the gurney. The doctor left the hospital,'” Ridley told Global News.
Ridley had her surgery on Saturday night. She believes she only got the care she needed because her mother — a former nurse at the hospital — was with her.
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Now, Ridley is speaking out because she feels her health and safety were compromised.
“Anything could’ve happened,” she said. “I had low blood pressure issues while I was there. Had they done the surgery quickly, they wouldn’t have to redo the IV lines.”
The hospital says it won’t discuss Ridley’s case due to confidentiality reasons, but in a statement to Global News, St. Mary’s said it is standard practice in Quebec to postpone low-priority surgeries and that under no circumstances would the hospital do so if a patient’s life was in danger.
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Malpractice lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard said these types of stories are common.
“This kind of case comes to our ears regularly,” he said.
Ménard adds that patients in Ridley’s situation can file a complaint with the hospital.
“It’s unacceptable to have that kind of delay without a proper explanation,” Ménard explained.
Alexandre Lahaie, spokesperson for Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann acknowledged we need better delays for surgeries. “The ministry will do a follow-up on the patient’s case,” he added.
“Emergency surgery shouldn’t be ‘ah, we’ll get to you when we get to you.’ There should be a guideline; there should be something stricter put in place so things like this don’t happen,” Ridley said, adding that she is planning to file a complaint with St. Mary’s Hospital.
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