Family members have described the death of a Canadian lady after a seven-hour wait in the ER “heartbreaking” and “grossly unfair.”
Having stomach aches on December 31, Allison Holthoff, 37, of Nova Scotia went to the emergency department the following morning as her condition worsened. Before locating a wheelchair, her husband, Gunter Holthoff, told CBC News that he had to carry her to the Cumberland Regional Health Care Center in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
“He was clearly in pain,” she told the outlet. “I rolled him over in the wheelchair and he could barely sit up.”
Gunter explained that they arrived around 11 a.m., and while Allison was prioritized fairly quickly, she then spent hours in the waiting room before she was seen
“I told the nurse and the woman on the desk there a few times, ‘This is getting worse,’ and nothing happened,” she said. “So security, in time, they got out some blankets and they brought us a cup of water and I used it to put ice on her lips.”
“I think he actually started saying that he thought he was dying in the waiting room outside,” Gunter continued. “But he kept saying it more and more. He said, ‘I think I’m dying. Don’t let me die here.’ And I said, ‘No, that’s why I brought you to the hospital.’ ”
After six, he said his wife was taken from the waiting room to the unit without medical equipment. It was 6 pm. by the time Allison finally sees a doctor and receives painkillers. While preparing for the X-ray, Gunter recalled that his condition had gotten so bad that he couldn’t breathe.
“The next thing was [her] eyes rolled back and her chest started to rise. Something started to click,” she told CBC. “The next thing you hear is about PA, ‘code blue, code blue in X-rays.’ ”
Gunter recalls that he was immediately asked to leave the room while the medical staff tried to resuscitate Allison three times. However, he eventually died. He noted that while the family is still awaiting an autopsy, he believes the health care system has serious problems that need to be addressed.