Monday, 20 Sep 2021

Dementia-hit pensioner left lying in own urine during three-hour ambulance wait

A 92-year-old dementia sufferer from Scotland was forced to wait for three hours for an ambulance after falling onto cold hard stones in her garden.

Her daughter Alison thought that Isabel Irvine was going to 'die in a heap in her own urine' during the wait and was left 'angry, upset and frustrated'.

Isabel is still being monitored in hospital after her fall on Saturday at around 4.30pm. It wasn't until nearly 10pm that she was examined by a nurse, the Daily Record reports.

Alison, 60, said: "I was told it could take up to five hours for an ambulance to arrive because the crews were exceptionally busy but I knew she wouldn’t be able to survive that long.

"Her lips were blue, she was struggling to breathe and her head was bleeding. I was beside myself with fear."

Alison phoned 999 at 4.40pm on Saturday after she ran outside to find her mum on the ground.

She said: "She’d been sitting outside chatting to her friend and the next thing I heard her scream my name.

"I was told it could take up to five hours for an ambulance but a paramedic phoned me back at 5.17pm to say mum had been upgraded to an hour’s wait.

"When it still hadn’t arrived at 6.22pm I phoned back and told them her breathing was really bad.

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"I covered her in quilts and coats and put pillows under her because she was lying on a pile of jaggy stones.

"She told me she was desperate for the toilet but I said she’d just need to do it lying there.

"I thought she was going to die in an undignified heap in her own urine."

An ambulance eventually arrived at Isabel’s sheltered housing complex in East Kilbride around 7.33pm and took her to Hairmyres Hospital. She was forced to lie on a trolley in a corridor until she was eventually examined by a triage nurse at 9.43pm.

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Alison said: "When she was examined, the nurse was concerned about her low oxygen levels but mum didn’t get into a cubicle until 12.39am and was sent for a head scan at 2.13am before being taken to a ward an hour later."

Alison said: "I’m confused as to what’s happened to our NHS.

"I don’t blame the Ambulance Service. The paramedics were ­fabulous and so were the hospital staff. I blame the Scottish ­Government. This shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "We would like to sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to the patient.

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"At the time of the call, we were experiencing very high demand on our services.

"We will be reviewing this case thoroughly and will contact the patient privately to apologise."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "The ambulance service is carrying out a national review of demand and capacity to ensure it has the resources in place to meet current and projected future demand, resulting in an additional £10.5million announced last year and further investment planned this year."

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