A 90-year-old senior says staff at a Delta Hospital sent her home in a taxi in the middle of the night while she was bleeding from the arm, dressed in nothing but her pyjamas, and without shoes.
Vivian Fitzpatrick, who is legally blind, was taken to the hospital by an ambulance at 10:30 p.m. PT Tuesday night after she felt an intense pain in her leg, which turned out to be a case of high blood pressure.
After she was cleared by a doctor, an unknown nurse came into her room and told her she was going home, Fitzpatrick said.
“The nurse came in and said ‘the doctor says you can go home, there’s nothing wrong with you’,” she told CBC News.
Despite Fitzpatrick pointing out she wasn’t dressed, the nurse told her they had ordered her a taxi and were sending her home.
“I was kind of stunned,” she said.
The unknown nurse then wrapped her in a single sheet, gave her socks for her bare feet, and moved her into the emergency waiting room until the taxi arrived nearly an hour later at 2:30 a.m. PT.
When the taxi arrived, the driver walked her across the parking lot in a wheelchair in the pouring rain and wind, she says.
After arriving at home, Fitzpatrick was greeted by her live-in caregiver, who noticed that her arm was bleeding considerably from her earlier blood tests.
“She took off my jacket, and my jacket was soaked right through with blood… not my jacket, my pyjamas top and the sheet around me was soaked in blood,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick’s daughter, Paddy Munro, is disturbed by the incident.
“How can that happen? A 90-year-old woman sent out in the pouring rain in pyjamas and shivering in a waiting room by herself,” she said.
“How can that happen?”
Fraser Health said in a written statement that they cannot comment on the specifics of the case, but that sometimes patients are sent home by taxi and they ensure patients are met by a caregiver when they arrive home.
“We are working with the family through the Patient Care and Quality Office to ensure this type of situation does not occur again,” the statement said.
Fitzpatrick is still shaken by her experience.
“I don’t want to go to that hospital again, I’m so upset,” she said.