Allison Holthoff, a 37-year-old woman from Nova Scotia, Canada, died after a seven-hour wait in the emergency room. Family members blame complications and shortcomings in the country’s health care system for the death. Canadian Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson said in a statement released Monday, “This is a tragic loss, and my heart goes out to them. I understand they want answers. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the patient who died at Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.”
Allison Holthoff, went to the hospital after complaining that she wasn’t feeling well on New Year’s Eve. She told her family that she had pain in her abdomen that continued to increase with time. She had an upset stomach on Dec. 31 and went to the emergency room the following morning when the sickness worsened. Her husband, Gunter Holthoff, told CBC News that he had to carry her on his back to the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst, Nova Scotia, before finding a wheelchair. Gunter said, “I was rolling her in the wheelchair and she could hardly sit up.”
No Medical Equipment
After six hours, Allison was taken from the waiting room into a unit with no medical equipment. It was 6 p.m. by the time Allison finally saw a doctor and received pain medication. While prepping for an X-ray, Gunter recalled her condition getting worse to the point where she couldn’t breathe. Medical staff took blood and urine samples during the seven-hour wait, with one nurse asking near the end if Allison was ‘always like this’ upon seeing her extreme pain. Allison started screaming in pain at around 6 p.m. as medical staff prepped her for an X-ray. Doctors and nurses resuscitated Holthoff three times before determining that they had a ‘1% chance of keeping her alive’ and would not pursue surgery. A doctor told Gunter that his wife had suffered from internal bleeding but could not determine the origin.
Death: The Tragic Incident
Gunter recalled that he was quickly asked to leave the room while medical staff attempted to resuscitate Allison three times. However, she ultimately died. He noted that although the family is still waiting for an autopsy, he believes the healthcare system has a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Cause Of Death
Gunter explained that they arrived around 11 a.m., and while Allison was triaged pretty quickly, she then spent hours in the waiting room before she was seen. They waited for seven hours for someone to attend to her, but she ended up dying. Gunter told reporters on Monday that he still didn’t know his wife’s cause of death.
Gunter told reporters that his wife had fallen off a horse in September and had complained of pain in the following months. He said it had been ‘rough times’ for his wife. He found her lying in the hallway on New Year’s Eve after she tried to ease the pain by taking a bath. Gunter said, “Something needs to improve. I don’t want anybody else to go through this. Unfortunately, I feel like we were neglected until it was to a point they couldn’t ignore us anymore.”
Gunter added to Global News that he just wishes they weren’t ‘neglected’ by the hospital and that their children got to say goodbye to their mother.
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