Reader objects to service, speed of Mercy South’s emergency room


Letter to the Editor 

To the editor:

I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention to the lack of empathy and integrity that Mercy South Hospital has for their patients.

On Dec. 31, my 85-year-old father was sent to the emergency room by his doctor as a direct admit.

When his doctor called the ER, they told him that he was not there. He immediately called us on the cell phone and asked if we had left, because we had been there for a couple of hours already. We stated that no, we were still there. He called back but yet he was informed that they did not have a bed and we would have to wait.

After about three hours, my father saw the triage person. After a couple of more hours, he finally saw the ER doctor. So I would have to say it was a good seven hours before he actually saw a doctor. We saw the doctor for about eight minutes tops, and he said that your doctor wants you admitted.

We waited in that room for another half hour or so, and my father was triaged to another room where he waited on a stretcher for about another five hours because they did not have a bed for him.

I did demand that he receive a hospital bed and not have to suffer on a stretcher.

We were told that it would take hours for them to clean a room.

While we were waiting to see the physician in the ER, I asked for a charge nurse to see what was going on and all she could talk about was how stressed all the staff was and that “Mondays are extremely busy days.”

They did not have anyone coming out into the waiting room to see if people needed maybe a blanket or a bag for emesis. No signs of compassion.

Then when my father was waiting for his bed upstairs they started him on an antibiotic via IV, and it had a kink in the line and the alarm was going off. I waited for 10 minutes and no one responded even though people were sitting at the desk.

I went out and asked someone to respond and again asked for a charge nurse and she stated “They have noise fatigue.”

I then stated I was scared to leave my father there if the staff have learned to drown out the noise.

About 10 hours or so into the ordeal he finally did get a room. The nursing staff on his floor were good, however they do not do any discharge planning. I was told that not everyone gets a case manager.

Good discharge planning prevents readmissions. This is one of the real reasons for the high cost of health care. Don’t just blame insurance companies.

I would like to say that maybe it was just a busy day, however when he returned after a week and a day, his neighbor went into the ER on a Wednesday and it took her 10 hours to be admitted to the floor.

So it is not just Mondays.

Teresa Breeding