78-year-old Waterford woman with heart problems waits over 24 hours on chair at UHW

A 78-year-old Waterford woman who suffers from cardiac issues had to wait over 24 hours on a chair at University Hospital Waterford recently.

The woman, who was subsequently diagnosed with heart failure, arrived at UHW at 3pm but still had no bed or trolley at 3pm the next day.

She travelled from Dungarvan with her daughter, Donna - who told their story to Deise Today on Tuesday.

"Mam went through triage very quickly, but then we sat and sat", Donna explained. "Mam sent me home at 11 o'clock as I had to go home and do the jobs at home, so she told me that she would ring me when she was ready to go. At 2 o'clock in the morning, she rang me and she said "They told me I am staying in"."


Donna then asked her mother if she had a bed as of yet, to which she responded no - though she was hopeful that it wouldn't be long before that came about.

"I said I would give her a ring in the morning, and I went to bed", Donna continued. "I got up at 6am and I was working at 8am, so I said I would go down first with a bag for Mam. When I got in the door at 7am, I looked through and there she was, still sitting on a chair."

Donna stated her belief that the sole reason that there is low trolley numbers in University Hospital Waterford, is because everyone is waiting on chairs.

"I came home then and went to work, and about 3pm in the afternoon - she rang me, and said she had been diagnosed with heart failure. She was still sitting on the chair. They would be finding her a bed soon. My personal issue is that a 78-year-old woman was left sitting on a chair for over 24 hours. Even though she was being admitted, she didn't have a bed - that's grand, I know that they are under pressure there. When I hear about this trolley thing, and they say our numbers are down in Waterford, we have no trolleys. They have no trolley numbers, because they're all sitting on chairs!".


She says it is not the fault of the staff, but something has to give.

"Mam - at 78 years of age - in my opinion, I am not a doctor, shouldn't have been sitting on a chair for over 24 hours. Even if she had a trolley, she could have gone to sleep, had some rest and taken some weight off her hips and her back. I was absolutely livid. I understand that the hospital are under pressure. This is not a staff issue. They are doing everything that they can and I am not having a go at them at all, but there is something seriously wrong."