Nobody expects to pick a loved one up from the hospital in worse condition than when they arrived. But in the case of an 83-year-old woman known as Mrs. B, what her family witnessed when they came to take her home was beyond their worst nightmares.
Mrs. B was originally checked into the Hornsby Hospital in Sydney for a routine assessment. When she was picked up, however, she had two black eyes and bruises and cuts all the way down her arms.
Nobody from the hospital contacted Mrs. B’s family to let them know about her condition, and at first, none of the hospital staff could tell the family anything about what had happened. It wasn’t until five days after her release that the hospital started claiming that Mrs. B’s injuries were caused by two falls.
“When you see the photos you’ll be aware that she must have fallen from the first or second story onto the ground floor,” says 2GB host Ray Hadley, a friend of Mrs. B. “She couldn’t have fallen out of bed to sustain the injuries she sustained. You don’t get two black eyes, bruising on your neck, and skin stripped bare from your arm from falling. That doesn’t happen. Somebody at that hospital knows what happened, because it can’t possibly be the result of a fall.”
It has been reported that Mrs. B was on blood thinners and other medications during her hospital stay, which may have contributed to the bruising. However, her family still does not believe that such intense injuries could have been caused by two simple falls. There has also been no explanation as to what—if anything—was done to prevent the second fall after the first one occurred.
Of course, Mrs. B, who has dementia, has no recollection of what happened to her while she was hospitalized, so the chances that whoever is responsible for this catastrophe will be brought to justice are slim.
The hospital has reached out to the family to apologize and offer further follow-up support. A spokesman for Northern Sydney Local Health District had this to say:
“An investigation into the care experienced by this patient while in hospital is underway. The investigation will include a review of the falls, communication with the family, and the discharge process. Despite several falls prevention strategies being put in place while in hospital, the patient unfortunately suffered two falls. A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan, electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests were taken. The patient was transferred to a more acute ward for further management and observation.”
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?