Woman in her 80s had to use bedpan in open view at University Hospital Limerick

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

UHL ‘cannot explain’ why no screen was provided in ED

UHL ‘cannot explain’ why no screen was provided in ED

AN ELDERLY woman in her 80s was forced to go to the toilet in a bedpan without a privacy screen while being treated at University Hospital Limerick’s overcrowded emergency department.

A source told the Limerick Leader that after presenting at UHL on Tuesday morning, the 82-year-old was placed on a trolley in the emergency department.

It is understood that the pensioner has a long-term medical condition that has left her with mobility issues.

That morning, there were 56 patients on trolleys in the ED and the wards at UHL.

“You couldn’t even get a wheelchair between the trolleys. There was barely enough room for people to visit,” the source said. 

When she needed to the use the toilet, a bedpan was “shoved” under her “with no privacy, no screen, no nothing in the corridor”.

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said privacy screens are available for patients with mobility issues “so we cannot explain why this, regrettably, did not happen on this occasion”.

“Patient dignity and improving the patient experience is very important to us and we would encourage the patient and/or her loved ones in this instance to make contact with staff directly on this matter.”

The spokesperson said that the UL Hospitals Group cannot comment on individual cases for reasons of patient confidentiality. 

“Generally speaking, within the emergency department, every effort is made to ensure that patients who require privacy are brought to a single room/cubicle as available. This may not always be possible particularly when the department is busy or when the requirement to isolate patients places added demand on single rooms,” he said. 

He added that the emergency department can often be busy following a Bank Holiday Weekend. 

On that night, there were 20 patients in the ED waiting for a bed. 

This Monday, UHL endured the highest level of overcrowding in the country as it deals with a major outbreak of the deadly CPE superbug.