Preventable falls not taken seriously enough

Letter writing searches for others who had similar experiences at local hospital

Editor:

In response to Kelly Wilson’s Nov. 3 article, “Falls are serious but they can be prevented.”

Perhaps research could be done on the number of preventable falls that happen in B.C. hospitals every year.

Case in point; I had several visits to Cariboo Memorial Hospital this spring and summer due to toxic chemical exposures and resulting dystonia.

The admitting ER doctor did not understand my symptoms and gave me a wrong diagnosis.

As a result, my behaviour was labelled as being made up by me “to get attention.”

Nothing could be further from the truth! I also hate being in hospitals!

When I asked for assistance to go to the toilet, I was refused.

My “preventable fall” onto the concrete ER floor was not stopped by my attending nurse and I was left to lie on its filth for 45 minutes in a dystonic reaction in which my body was seized up into a tight ball.

Since I was able to put out my hands as I fell, I was able to prevent my head from touching the concrete, and this was written down as a “controlled descent.”

Apparently, two RCMP officers in ER had tried to help me up, but “I refused.”

When I was able to breathe properly and speak again, I asked for their assistance to help me off the floor, but they refused my request on this basis.

I was refused much needed pain medication while I “purposefully remained” on the floor, and told that I needed to get on the bed first.

I was later hauled onto the bed with a hoist.

There were serious consequences to me as a result of this “preventable fall” which were not taken seriously.

I highly doubt that this ended up in hospital records as a preventable fall and yet there are numerous posters all throughout the hospital regarding the seriousness of falls.

Not a single person working there regarded my fall seriously or was interested in helping prevent me from falling again.

I doubt this is an isolated occurrence. I invite dialogue from anyone and everyone for similar events that have happened to you.

Haley Wingrave

Williams Lake

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