ponedjeljak, 12. lipnja 2017.

St. Paul's Hospital addressing ‘brutal lack of dignity’ allegation in treating Alzheimer’s patient

Health officials are investigating after a Vancouver man alleges his 78-year-old mother with Alzheimer’s was roughed up by St. Paul’s Hospital security and left crying and bruised this week.
Aaron Craven is now advocating for an “overhaul” of how Alzheimer’s patients are treated and hoping other families can draw from his experience and “get out ahead” of the disease.
“I feel the entire situation was extremely poorly managed by St. Paul’s emergency staff and the result was abusive and way over the top of what was needed,” he said of his mom Patricia’s June 5 visit to the downtown Vancouver hospital.
Craven’s mother has Alzheimer’s and his dad has dementia; both of their conditions have slowly worsened. In recent weeks, Craven has been preparing to transition his parents from in-home care to a local seniors’ home.
On the recommendation of health care providers, Craven took his mother to St. Paul’s on Monday to stabilize her medication prior to the move. The pair arrived around 11:30 a.m. and Patricia was placed on an emergency ward stretcher, according to an email Craven addressed to local politicians and health officials, and has also shared with Postmedia.
After a few hours of waiting, Craven said he requested medication to help his mom calm down; she was becoming frightened due to the noisy, busy emergency-ward conditions. Craven said nurses then gave him a tablet of Quetiapine to calm his mom.
At 9 p.m., Craven said they were told there would not be a bed available in another ward and would have to remain in emergency overnight. Craven said he complained and staff freed up a room in emergency with a sliding door and took his mom there.
“By this point, she had been in the emergency ward for over 10 hours and was getting very agitated, despite all my efforts to calm her,” he said.
A short time later, Craven said his mother became upset and insisted on leaving the hospital. Security was called just as Craven was able to get his mom to return to her room. When she tried to leave again, Craven said staff ordered security to restrain her. He said she hadn’t hit anyone, fallen or thrown anything.
“My mother was thrown onto a stretcher by multiple security guards and staff (maybe 7-10 people), stripped of her clothing, put into a four-point restraint and injected with sedative,” Craven alleges in his email. “She screamed, cried and begged them not to take her clothes off.”
“Aside from the extreme heavy-handedness of the sedation, the fact that my mother was given such brutal lack of dignity and such force was incredible (sic) inhumane and unnecessary.”
Craven said his mother cried and shook for an hour after the alleged incident.
An email Craven received from the hospital’s patient relations department apologized, said staff were looking into his concerns, and promised an update sooner than the health ministry’s normal response guidelines.
“As we discussed, I am looking into the concerns you raised below. Please be assured that I am taking your complaint very seriously and will endeavour to get a response to you faster than the Ministry of Health guidelines of 40 business days,” Jenny Hyman, of the Patient Care Quality Office at Providence Health Care, says in the email to Craven. “I truly hope your mother is able to be stabilized quickly and that your experience of our care improves significantly during her admission to hospital. Again, I am extremely sorry for the distress that this incident caused for you and your mother.”
Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert’s office has also been in touch with Craven.
When contacted by Postmedia, Providence Health spokesman Shaf Hussain couldn’t speak to specifics of the incident involving Craven’s family, but said the health authority was investigating the incident.
“An incident or any patient complaints are looked at closely and addressed,” said Hussain. “We would be working closely with the family on any such complaints and/or issues that are raised.”
Hussain said patients who are brought into the emergency ward are first triaged, stabilized and assessed before being transferred to the appropriate unit as required. He said Providence Health has a dedicated geriatrics and elder-care psychiatric unit at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, but acknowledged patients must be stabilized before being admitted there.
Craven said he hopes his family’s experience will encourage other families to seek help before things get too challenging to handle in the face of Alzheimer’s.
In a phone interview with Postmedia, Craven said his family is fortunate enough that they are able to make the time commitments and financial arrangements to care for his parents and ensure they are looked after at a full-time facility. But he notes he’s not the only one sandwiched between aging parents and raising young children and needing support.

“Getting out ahead of these issues in early stages is critical, before they compound. I wish I had been quicker to respond, but acting on the reality in front of you often comes after a period of paralysis and denial,” Craven writes.
Patricia Craven has been in the hospital since Monday and is recovering from the ordeal, but Aaron Craven said his family is still shaken from the experience.

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