A Waterford man has criticised the ‘dire state’ of Ireland’s emergency services after his father died in University Hospital Waterford last month.
75 year old Michael Gallagher spent three days on a trolley in the emergency department after presenting on Friday December 1st with shortness of breath and an extremely bloated abdomen.
He died 11 days later after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis.
His son Liam told Eamon Keane he was told his father could not be given an ultrasound because it was the weekend, yet had his diagnosis been received earlier it would have lessened his father’s pain:
“Our issue really was that if a scan was provided we would have been able to determine that he had advanced cancer at an earlier stage he would have been able to commence palliative care and his suffering would have been less.”
Speaking on Deise Today, Liam said the medical staff at UHW were fantastic, but the conditions his father had to endure were awful:
“People are sleeping for days on end in a corridor where the lights don’t change, they’re bright lights. He actually had an enema in the corridor for relief..my father was quite a tough individual he told me he’d never experienced pain like it in his entire life like the three days he spent on a hospital trolley”.
Liam has written to the Minister for Health in the hope the system can be reformed so that people like his father can avoid undue suffering.
In a statement University Hospital Waterford confirmed that a regular radiographer led ultrasound service does not operate out of hours.
“However, based on the clinical need of a patient the radiology registrar on call will perform an ultrasound out of hours,” it said.