Hospital crunch: Navy veteran finally gets bed after 6 days in hallway
A 77-year-old man finally got his own bed at Victoria General Hospital Wednesday after spending six days in a cramped hallway.
Neil Laur was admitted to hospital with "significant" health issues late last week, and was placed on a gurney in a hospital hallway.
His son, former Victoria police officer Darren Laur, took to social media yesterday with frustration that his father, a navy veteran, was being subjected to such difficult conditions.
"Here he is. He’s spent 35 years in the military. He’s done his service to the country. He’s paid his taxes for health care, and this is where we are," Laur told CTV News.
Laur says since he tweeted about the situation on Tuesday he’s received an outpouring of support online. "I’ve now received hundreds of messages from across Canada from doctors and nurses. Doctors especially saying they’re sick and tired of dealing with that hallway medicine," he said.
On Wednesday, Mark Blandford, the hospital’s Director of Clinical Operations, reiterated Island Health’s apology for the situation.
“The patient was moved from three different units so we lost track of the total number of days he’d been in hospital. So we lost track of how long he’d been in hospital, and that was our mistake,” said Blandford.
Blandford said this time of year is a peak time for influenza, and it’s when hospitals are most crowded. He also said most hospitals across Vancouver Island are affected by overcrowding.
That’s a perspective shared by the BC Nurses Union. Its president, Christine Sorensen, says patients in hallways is a problem across British Columbia.
“We’re seeing it everywhere in hospitals across the province. We think it’s extremely unsafe for patients an creates moral distress for the nurses,” Sorensen said.
As far as a solution, Blandford says continued efforts to improve primary care is key, so patients don’t need to go to hospitals for treatment as frequently.