87-year-old man waits 10 hours in ambulance outside hospital after suffering stroke

An 87-year-old Cardiff woman waited ten hours outside a hospital after suffering a stroke.

Joan Freeman arrived at the University of Wales Hospital at 12 noon on Thursday, and had to wait in an ambulance for ten hours outside the hospital, going into three different ambulances as paramedics ended their shifts.

Joan, who has dementia, was suspected of having a stroke due to a blood clot caused by Covid-19, which she contracted two weeks ago.

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A close relative of Joan said: “We called the ambulance yesterday morning at about 11.15 am because we suspected Joan was having a stroke.

“She was in complete agony and had her hands on her eyes. She was saying that her head was absolutely hitting her.

“She lives alone but she has a caregiver who comes four times a day who told us she was very distressed.”

“When the ambulance came and before we left the house, they were giving her paracetamol and trying to give her pills, but she couldn’t even open her eyes and take it.”

Joan was eventually given an IV drop and her family reached the hospital but had to wait outside in an ambulance.

Joan’s relative said: “They were taken to separate ambulances as the crew finished their shifts. I felt sorry for the paramedics because one told me there were actually 47 standing calls, but of those No one could attend because they had so many patients already in the ambulance.

“There were 16 ambulances waiting outside.”

Joan’s family was shocked to learn that once they were admitted to the hospital, Joan was still being given paracetamol to treat her stroke.

He said: “Obviously it was a suspected stroke and treatment should have been different. My brother-in-law had to raise his voice to sort things out and a scan was arranged for Joan.

“She had to tell them to put on fresh bedding and change the dressing on her back – nothing was given, we had to prompt them.

“Fourteen hours after this happened, we were told at twelve o’clock in the night that he had suffered a stroke. At three in the morning, he was taken to the stroke ward.”

Joan’s family was told the stroke was down to a blood clot, which they were told ‘probably Joan had COVID-19’.

The relative said: “We have been waiting for her booster for centuries, but since she has to go home, there is a delay.

“Joan ended up catching COVID from one of her caregivers and came out of isolation on 22 December.

“It’s just satanic out there. I felt like I was in a third world country. You wouldn’t treat a dog like that.”

“They were saying she needed to drink water, yet ignoring the fact that she couldn’t even lift a cup. We had to ask her for a drip.

“I know it’s because they lack a lot of staff and resources because of covid, but to think that Joan was treated as an urgent patient but still wasn’t seen for 12 hours , he’s mad.

“What amazes me is how she was telling how much she was hurting and having a stroke, but she hadn’t been seen for so long. If she was a 50-year-old man, would the same sort of thing happen to them? Treated? Or is it because the hospital doesn’t have space?

“I feel like I was risking her life by leaving her in their care. That never used to happen.”

A spokesman for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “We sincerely apologize for the delay and experience Joan has received during this time.

“Health and social care services in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are facing significant and continuing pressure, leading to delays in the provision of care and timely discharge of patients.

“This in turn is impacting patient flow within our hospital and waiting times in our emergency unit. Our focus remains on patient care and our staff work tirelessly to see patients on their health care needs in a timely manner. are doing.

“While we are under these extreme pressures, we would ask the public to if they do not have a life-threatening emergency please call the CAV 24/7 on 0300 10 20 247 so that we can appropriately assess and direct patients ”

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