Senior falls at home, waits four hours for ambulance

The family of an 82-year-old Villeray woman says it`s unacceptable that she had to wait four hours for an ambulance to come to her rescue.

The woman who lives alone had called her niece after falling down. An ambulance arrived four hours after the 911 call. The woman spent all that time lying on the floor, her head propped up by a pillow. The woman ended up being hospitalized with an injury to her collarbone.

"It's unfortunate and we sympathize with the patient and her family," said Urgences Sante spokesman Benoit Garneau.

"Last Monday was a very, very  busy day.  We had a large volume of calls, 25% more calls than usual."

Garneau says the woman`s injuries were described as non threatening so she was listed as a priority four. He said the dispatcher told the woman's niece to call them back right away if her condition had worsened.

"We had to triage and prioritize our urgent calls, like priority zero and priority one are the most urgent," Garneau told CJAD 800 News.

 The union has complained that a lack of resources is to blame.

"We could always have more resources but it's hard to plan," Garneau said.

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  1. barbara posted on 06/09/2014 03:33 PM
    The exact same thing happened to my grandma when she fell we had to call 911 before someone was dispatched. She is 84
  2. Helena posted on 06/09/2014 05:28 PM
    SHAME ON YOU, 911 AND URGENCES SANTE!!! Same thing happened to me when I broke my foot and have to wait 4 hours at home with the frozen broccoli on it. And at the end I received a bill to pay 108$ for 8.5 km. Seriously???
  3. will posted on 06/09/2014 08:25 PM
    A busy day has nothing to do with it, it's a common practice. If you are breathing and not seriously injured, you have to wait. This has been going on for years.
    1. joanne scuion posted on 06/10/2014 10:38 PM
      @will That is precisely , it if you are not seriously injured, you have to wait like in a emergency room everything is done on a priority basis.There are stat transfers from one hospital to another, that are life and death, I am not justifying anything , four hours is too long. We live in a me society , I see it quite frequently in the emergency room where I work
  4. Grace posted on 06/10/2014 09:34 AM
    This happened to my grandmother years ago when she was 82 years old. She fell down the concrete stairs in her garage and dragged herself two rooms over to reach the phone; she'd broken her leg in three places! She called my mum first, because we were able to leave for a week, then we called 911. We waited five hours for an ambulance and we lived ten minutes away from the Lakeshore General. We called back after an hour and said we would drive her and they told us not to move her or she could be hurt worse and guilted us into waiting longer. This needs to be fixed.
    1. joanne scullion posted on 06/10/2014 10:30 PM
      @Grace I certainly do understand the frustration. However I work in an emergency room , and I can tell you from years of personal experience it,is one of the huge problems is the non essential use of ambulances .Many people take ambulances to the emergency hoping that it will get them seen quicker.The look on their faces when they are put in the waiting room is one of complete shock.When they are told that the mode of transport has nothing to do with how quickly you will see the doctor they are equally shocked. The misuse of emergency rooms is legendary in Montreal . Even for those who have a family Doctor.I am not justifying anything .Heath care is totally hospital based, many people refuse to consider any of the aternatives,
  5. ssm posted on 06/13/2014 01:24 AM
    If none of the members of the "national" assembly had private health insurance, the public system would possibly receive more funding and better resources.
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